Broughty Athletic manager Keith Gibson talks to the BAJFC Website Admin and reflects back on his first full season in the Super League, with the club finishing tenth, losing out in cup competitions and bringing the youngsters through. Read below what he had to say…
What was your favourite game and result?
There are a couple that sticks out in terms of the result, the 5-1 win over Carnoustie and the 5-0 win over St Andrews are probably the 2 favourite games as it’s always nice to beat your local rivals. We played some excellent stuff in these 2 games and to win as convincingly as we did was an added bonus.
The best games performance wise I think was our wins down at Bo’ness and Musselburgh. In terms of our overall performance, discipline and general play we were excellent in both of these games.
What was your least favourite game and result?
I think the way we went out of all the cup competitions this year was really disappointing. The GA cup semi-final has to be my least favourite performance and result. For such a big game for the club and players we just simply didn’t perform that night. It is still really raw even now.
Did you think you’d be battling relegation before the season kicked off?
The aim at the start of the season was to consolidate after our promotion and to be honest I was confident that we could do that. We have a good group here at the club and the players that we brought in pre-season and throughout the season added quality to the squad. There are some good teams in the super league and throughout this season bar maybe one or two games we have competed well and not been far away in games that we have dropped points in.
Thoughts on the club finishing in tenth place in the Super League?
Again the aim was to stay up so in terms of that great. But looking over the season the points we have dropped from being in winning positions and losing goals in the last 5 minutes has probably cost us another 12 points towards our total. I’m sure every other manager will be saying the same thing!
Some of the youngsters played some game time, how did that go?
With us securing our Super League safety with 6 games to go it was an ideal opportunity to get our younger players involved. John Sinclair, Conor Samson, Kieran Ross, Derryn Kesson and Blair Whyte have all benefited from game time in the last month or so and it’s been great for their development. The boys are still very young but they are all willing to learn and improve. It’s a big step up from playing for their Sunday boys team and the boys have all seen how high the tempo is of the games and that they won’t get away with half the things they do on a Sunday. Hopefully, we can get the boys tied up again and keep improving them individually so they can try to break into the team.
Who’s been the most improved player of the season within the squad?
I wouldn’t like to pick out one player as its very much a team game at Broughty. I think in terms of what we’ve improved most this season is our in game management. We’ve had six 1-0 wins in the last third of the season and the players have been great in seeing the game out. These games have been very close and at the beginning of the season, these 1-0 leads ended up in draws or defeats due to the team switching off and losing late goals.
What’s the clubs and your aim for next season?
I’m ambitious, as are the club and players so we have got to improve upon this season on and off the park. Broughty want to be an established Super League club so first and foremost we have to cement that again next season but look to improve on our tenth place finish. I’ll be trying my hardest to improve the squad over the summer but I honestly don’t think we are far away. We have the nucleus of this seasons squad all signed so I’ll probably be looking to bring in another 3 or 4 players.
Overall thoughts on you and the clubs first season in the Super League?
I’m relatively happy with our first season in the Super League as we set out to do what we wanted. It would have been nice to reach a cup final and have the chance to win a bit of Silverware but it wasn’t to be after reaching a quarter and semi-final. I’m still learning all the time as a manager and it has been good to see the standard of the teams in the league and a good gauge to see where we need to be next season.
As much as we want to be professional on the park it has been great to get Sean onboard at the club his energy and enthusiasm are superb and the website and social media is as good as you’ll get and puts some senior clubs to shame. The hospitality at the Camelon cup game was a major success and hopefully, this is something that can be built on for next season.
I’d like to end by saying thank you to all of the players for their efforts this season, my back room staff and of course our committee who work tirelessly throughout the season and probably don’t get enough credit for the job they do.