16176285 1359378154120871 1316532821 nMANY fans had questions in the wake of Brian Reid's departure and with Stranraer sitting bottom of Scottish League One.

The official website team put them to the club's chairman Iain Dougan for his view on the season so far, what has happened and what lies ahead.

Q - Is the club disappointed with how the season is going after reaching the play-offs last year?

Of course, we are all disappointed with the position we find ourselves after being so close last season it shows the fine margins in football.

Forfar found themselves in a very similar position last season "after the Lord Mayor's Show" and they found it hard to replicate the form of the previous season. By the same token, the season is far from over and, while obviously the initial target would be to drag ourselves away from the bottom two spots, in no way does that mean we have given up on turning things round and achieving a playoff spot at the other end of the table.

Given the nature of the small league set up with everyone capable of beating everyone there is definitely a belief that the season is not a write off by any means.
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Q - Was Brian Reid on a rolling contract or straight two years?

Manager's contracts, like players, have to be significantly attractive to entice anyone to be interested in it but, in my experience, given the remuneration on offer, no one is doing it for the money.

Brian put in an unbelievable amount of time and effort in the role - above and beyond that normally expected for a manager on a part-time contract. We have been extremely lucky over our recent appointments that our backroom team have put so much into it.

Longevity or remuneration for the role is not set in stone and we have used various different methods in the past, rolling short-term with longer extension after a successful initial period and any of the above would and could be looked at when trying to attract someone to the role.

Q - Is mutual consent a polite version of sacked?

Mutual consent was exactly that. Brian, like the committee, were extremely encouraged by the showing against Alloa, where most would agree that we did not get the result that was deserved. This again goes back to fine margins between success and failure.

To then go to Ochilview, in what was a hugely important game, not only for the points but for confidence in the whole club and fail to have a shot on target was, to put it lightly, hugely disappointing. Brian agreed with the committee that any initial shoots of improvement from the previous week had been well and truly pruned.
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Q - Will a manager ever be asked to be more active locally? In a similar way to the likes of Campbell Money was.

Given it is a part-time role, having a manager more active in the Stranraer area is extremely difficult given they have to earn their main living from other sources. Campbell effectively fulfilled a full-time role at the club as lottery and commercial manager as well, if I recall correctly, to make the package more attractive.

Q - What is the long term aim for the club? Stability in League One or aim to be the best part-time team in Scotland, in the Championship, etc?

The club always strives to play at the highest level possible but given over the last few seasons full-time teams, with the resources to match, have been in League One we have had to excel to beat them to the top slots, which is not easy but achievable.

Championship football has to be a goal but, as we have witnessed in past, promotion into that league and maintaining that status has been very difficult. What would be required would be a very good first season, punching way above our weight, then to try to maintain and to establish ourselves over a number of seasons - not dissimilar to the Dumbarton blue print

Q - Worst case scenario - does the club have a plan in the event of relegation?

Obviously, relegation in any season is a possibility and, if the worse case scenario were to happen, it would be tackled head on, with all possible help given to the manager to ensure that we achieved promotion at the earliest opportunity.

Much was made of our failure to bring in a striker. The previous manager targeted various strikers but, such is the demand for them, many do not want to drop to part-time level preferring to be third or fourth choice at a full-time championship club with the hope they will get their chance to shine and an extension to their contract if they do.
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Q - Who will be managing the team against Aberdeen?

Christopher Aitken will be in charge of team affairs in the dugout on Saturday along with David Johnstone (first team fitness coach) and Eric Phillips (goalkeeping coach).

Q - Is it just Brian Reid that has left - are Eric Phillips, David Johnstone, Matthew Wallace still with the club?

Chris Aitken has not yet finished his B licence so would be unable to take the manager's role but is currently still contracted in his current role. The physio (Matthew Wallace), Eric and DJ are also still involved but when new manager is in place he may have certain personnel he wishes to bring in too.

Q - Will the job be advertised or does Chris Aitken have first refusal?

Given our league position, we are taking a targeted approach for our manager with the hope to have our man in place in a shorter time period. This in no way means we are just going for an easy, untried or not a carefully, thought out decision.

This similar to that recently used by various clubs from all levels, for example at Crystal Palace Alan Pardew was replaced within two days by Sam Allardyce and Birmingham City replaced Gary Rowett with Gianfranco Zola in a matter of hours! If this expedient approach does not achieve our target, we will then seek applications.

Q - I think match day at Stair Park is a great experience, apart from the wind! Are there any plans to upgrade the catering (running out of hot water on a busy day, long queues even if you go to the van before half-time you can miss a chunk of the second half etc etc)?

It is a power problem, I believe the van trips the circuit but we shall investigate.

Q - Is the cost of junior football strips likely to cost less as it does seem very expensive at £50 where an adult kit is £55. Doesn't seem a fair price compared to other clubs.

The cost of buying kids' strips or adult kits does not vary very much from suppliers. Full kits are not often bought by adults. The margins on our merchandise aren't excessive.

Q - Is Stephen Farrell a potential replacement for Reid?

The selection process for a potential manager is underway.
Q - Why not put Allan Jenkins in for the job? When you do get the manger sorted out why don't you stop selling the best players every season and get the team to the Championship?

Allan Jenkins is still contracted to play in Northern Ireland and is head of youth at Stranraer Football Club. Unfortunately, we don't sell any players to the Championship or anywhere else - they are freedom of contract moves.

Q - Will a new manager be in place before the transfer window closes?

We are confident that we will have a manager in place before the window closes, yes.

SPFL 3L1 6474

1 Arbroath 33 68
2 Raith Rovers 33 55
3 Forfar Athletic 33 54
4 Montrose 33 47
5 East Fife 33 45
6 Airdrieonians 33 42
7 Dumbarton 33 39
8 Stranraer 33 39
9 Brechin City 33 35
10 Stenhousemuir 33 35


2018/19 Squad

1 - Max Currie (GK)
3 - Chris McGowan (DEF)
4 - Andy McDonald (DEF)
5 - David Brownlie (DEF)
6 - Connor McManus (MID)
7 - Mark Lamont (MID)
8 - Kyle Turner (MID)
9 - Joao Victoria (STR)
10 - Ali McCann (MID)

11 - Grant Anderson (M/S)
12 - Ian Smith (MID)

13 - Lyle Avci (GK)
14 - Cameron Elliott (MID)
17 - David Smith (D/M)
18 - Innes Cameron (STR)
20 - PJ Crossan (STR)

22 - Jamie Hamill (DEF)
23 - Adam Cummins (DEF)
24 - Conor O'Keefe (MID)