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Bittersweet week for Annan midfielder

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Chris Jardine | 16:56 UK time, Wednesday, 29 July 2009

We made a great start to the season with a 2-0 home win against Third Division newcomers, Queens Park.

Mike Jack was once again the goal hero with a penalty double and starts the season exactly the same as he did in the previous campaign.

To say that the Queens Park supporters were a little disappointed at the award of the first spot-kick is putting it mildly and, to be fair, I think they might have had a point.

It looked very much like Lewis Sloan handled before he was brought down inside the box, although the wee man swears it was the correct decision.

I have to say that I enjoyed some good banter with a couple of the visiting fans while I was warming up on Saturday.

I usually get a few comments from opposing supporters regarding my blog and you might not be surprised to hear that they are often not the most complimentary.

Still, there is a first time for everything, so I thank you lads - you know who you are.

I did tell one that I would apologise for saying that I was looking forward to facing Queens Park this season.

This obviously came across to some that I was glad they were relegated - well I have explained things now and I hope we are at peace.

You will now know that I managed to scrape in to the 16-man squad for the first game of the season.

Although I didn't make an appearance, I was glad to be in the squad after worrying about my place in the week leading up to the game.

This is not to say that I don't think I deserved to be in there, but more a case of my current circumstances.Annan Captain Kevin Neilson with manager Harry Cairney

I have said in previous columns that I have been happy with the way I have performed during pre-season and think I have done as well as anyone else in my position.

However, there are a lot of good midfielder's at the club and it was always going to be difficult for me this season. I still think I'm good enough to play but that's not what counts, unfortunately.

I still have a year left on my current contract and have had a few chats with the manager about my position at the club. The next step is to sit down with the chairman and see where we go from there.

I could have something to tell you in the next few weeks.

In the meantime, I hope to travel with the squad for the game against Inverness this weekend.

Whereas it's highly unlikely I will remain at the club beyond the current campaign, the club have moved quickly to tie up the majority of the squad on longer contracts.

Kevin Neilson, who has recently taken over the captaincy for the season, has signed a new two-year deal along with John MacBeth, Peter Watson, Steven Sloan and Aaron Muirhead.

Along with the new signings, this gives the club a bit of stability in terms of personnel, and hopefully the ongoing talks with another few of the boys will also have a positive outcome.

It seems that I have ended my column on a disappointing note far too often recently and it is with great sadness that it is happening again.

My former team mate Graham Potter passed away at the weekend whilst on a pre-season trip with Cumnock Juniors.

My friend Gary McMenamin was with the team at the time and I'll never forget the shock and sadness as I listened to his voice on the phone.

Graham was without doubt the best keepers I played with at Annan and he was one of the main reasons we won the league title in his season at the club.

It comes as no surprise that anyone fortunate enough to know the man spoke of him so highly as a person.

He truly was a complete gentleman and is held in great fondness by everyone that came across him at the football club.

My thoughts and sincere condolences are with his fiance, family and friends at this very sad time.


  • Comment number 1.

    Hey Chris want to say thanks for speaking with me on Saturday im the one who thought u wanted us to go down lol. And least you was honest with the penalty decision which i respect its annoying to be put out that way :(

    Anyways u mite be thinking why i have SAFC in my name im a Sunderland supporter aswell lol. Im sorry about the loss aswell mate my dad told me when he seen the newspaper thoughts goes out to you and your team mates

    Anyways must be off now good luck in the coming season il be seeing you on the 5th of december i think?

    Tata mate from Rab

  • Comment number 2.

    wow, quiet blog... if you're still "captain of Annan Athletic" how are you struggling to make the team or even the squad?!

    i think you're discussion with the chairman could have a little surprise...

  • Comment number 3.

    The guy above is obviously a clown who can't read.

    Always enjoyed reading your blog and good to hear a players view on the struggle of part time football and full time work. Being Glasgow based are you looking at the likes of Clyde as your next stop?

    All the best to you! (not so much to Annan)

  • Comment number 4.

    Cheers Rab - hope you had a good day out apart from the result. If I'm still here make sure you give me a shout in December!

  • Comment number 5.

    #3 - thanks for replying to #2 on my behalf!

    To be honest I've not really thought about my next move. Although things aren't going well I still want to be at Annan so we will see what the future brings.


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