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Reserve games draw Jardine to coaching

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Chris Jardine | 14:56 UK time, Thursday, 28 April 2011

I got a much-needed run-out on Monday night with the reserves at Galabank when I played in our 6-0 semi-final win.

To say it's been a frustrating time recently would be a bit of an understatement when I've only played for half an hour in our last four games.

I'd rather not be playing reserve games, to be honest, as it would mean I was playing regularly on a Saturday but the game alongside the majority of our Under-19s came at a good time.

Ian Harty rescued a point for Annan in last Saturday's 1-1 draw with Stranraer at Stair Park. Photo: SNS

Ian Harty rescued a point for Annan in last Saturday's 1-1 draw with Stranraer at Stair Park. Photo: SNS

It was an enjoyable game to play in and it's even better when you have young kids running about doing an old man's work.

Our Under-19s have come on leaps and bounds this season and it's testament to themselves and their coaches Euan (Buff) Brydson and Jim Brown. The team had a long, hard struggle last year but their development is really starting to show.

Quite a few of the boys had played in the reserve league last season but the team was mainly made up of more experienced players beside them.

With the first team having to play a lot of games since New Year we've had to rely on the 19s a lot more to play in these reserve games and they have done very well.

They had already taken care of Queen of the South and Stranraer in this competition before winning on Monday night against Mid-Annandale. This time the team has been predominantly Under-19s with only two or three first-team players thrown in.

A few of these boys have had the experience of being with the first team and I'm sure the manager was encouraged by what he saw on Monday night.

I'm not too sure about the age of many of them but some will be too old for the 19s age group and hopefully they can now take a step up and be integrated in to the first-team squad for next season.

As I've said in recent weeks, the thought of coaching is really starting to get a grip of me now and nights like Monday only re-emphasise that for me.

The thing I enjoyed most was passing my experience on to the kids during the game through communication and organisation. They have a super coach in Buff, who prepares them excellently and he continues that throughout the game.

When you're on the pitch you should be able to react quicker to something and make a decision and hopefully that's what I helped with on Monday night - as well as a wee bit of football now and again!

I think it's fair to say that players respond better to managers and coaches they know have played the game: I'm like that with Harry Cairney and Andy Aitken and it's the same with Buff and would be with Jimmy as well.

I would imagine the same would go for a younger player and that's why I would like to help the club and its youth players.

A lot of the kids are from the area and they come to the games and you can tell they enjoy seeing the first-team players and getting their high fives as we walk on and off the pitch.

I think it would be natural that if any of our players were to turn up at a coaching session it would give them a little boost and increase their enthusiasm. Hopefully, if I'm successful in getting my qualifications this is something I could bring to the club on a regular basis.

I'll finish by just touching on our position and performance after the weekend draw at Stranraer. First, I thought a draw was just about a fair result but I thought we were the better side...if that makes sense.

I thought we were better in possession and had more of the ball but the chances were fairly even. We were a little disappointed in the dressing room only to be taking a point down the road with us but it'll hopefully prove to be a very important one come the end of the season.

As for our league position, three points clear with two games to play. Am I allowed to say that it's just about squeaky bum time?

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