Pitch change blow to our widening ambitions
It's been a bit of an up and down last seven days at Galabank this week. We had a decent result away to Berwick at the weekend, but the club received some bad news regarding a failed grant appeal from the Scottish Football Partnership.
The club had applied for financial help to get the pitch widened at Galabank. As it stands, the pitch falls below the required width and it was part of the requirements when we were accepted into the Scottish Football League that this had to be rectified within a period of time.
It's a disappointment for the club as there will now be possible sanctions as I can only now assume the work won't be completed in the specified time.
The club has worked really hard to develop Galabank since we found out about our successful application to join the league and the widening of the pitch is the next stage in that development.
I think it's also important for the playing staff as well. I've spoken previously about our problems in home matches as it's such a tight little park and it can be really hard to break teams down if you fall a goal behind. Hopefully, the new dimensions will help us improve on that as our away form has been pretty decent this season.
Don't get me wrong, given the choice, I would play on grass every time, but I think in this day and age football clubs need to be confident that games are going to go ahead every week. I think I'm right in saying that Airdrie went around six weeks without a home fixture over the Christmas period last year; that's a scary thought for anyone.
Installing this surface at Galabank allows you to generate income 24 hours a day if there was that demand. Okay, it's highly unlikely that's ever going to happen, but I hope you get my point.
As well as the income, it allows the team to train on better facilities throughout the year. There are times when we struggle to properly practice our set-pieces because our training facility isn't big enough.
Obviously, we adapt things, but it's not ideal. Over Christmas and New Year, we were training indoor on badminton courts for a month because every outside facility was unplayable. An artificial surface not ideal for players, in my opinion, but I certainly think it's the way forward for the smaller clubs like ourselves.
Before last weekend's game, I'm sure we would have taken a 2-2 draw away to Berwick. I'm sure the manager was disappointed in the actual performance, but a point at the league leaders is something we would take any day of the week.
I think our form is a little concerning right now and hopefully the break this weekend will do us the world of good. We've picked up results, so that's always positive, but we can't kid ourselves on as performances in three of our last four matches haven't been too clever. The Clyde match aside, we've been pretty poor and things need to improve throughout the team.
The manager gave us the weekend off at the last international match and we actually thought we were off this weekend as well. We were told to make plans if we wanted, but then a game at Stenhousemuir in a closed-door fixture was arranged.
A couple of the boys have actually headed off for some sunshine and it might open the door for some of us to get a game in and hopefully impress. I was actually supposed to be away from Friday until Monday, but I've put things back a day and I'll just head off after the game. I've not made it on to the pitch at all in the last six matches. So, if the club arranges anything right now, I'll be there.