Brechin bad? Meet the club still waiting for their first league win

first_imgShare on Pinterest Pinterest Topics Share on Facebook Share via Email “You always have the odd few getting on the manager or players’ backs but most people have enjoyed the season,” says Dean Walker, the supporters’ club chairman. “To have no wins so far into the season obviously isn’t nice but the banter has been good. The fans have mostly taken it on the chin.”Brechin have become victims of narrow margins. Fifteen of their 26 defeats have been by a single goal. St Mirren, the runaway Championship leaders, have struggled to 2-1 and 1-0 wins over the Angus men. So what would transpire if they can imminently break the run?“I don’t think the players will overly celebrate because that’s them doing their job,” says Ferguson. “I think the fans will quite rightly take an opportunity to enjoy it and they should do after sticking by us through what’s been a difficult season. They have been coming away from games week after week being told: ‘You were unlucky, you played well there, the win is close.’ You get fed up hearing that.” Brechin’s chairman, Ken Ferguson, takes a selfie before the Scottish Cup defeat at Celtic. ‘The vibe in the dressing room is good,’ he says. Photograph: Jeff Holmes/PA Wire/PA Images Share on Messenger The Joy of Six: seasons from hell features Facebook Reuse this content Share on Twitter Read more Share on WhatsApp Share on LinkedIn Read more The whys and wherefores of Brechin’s plight are straightforward. Having finished fourth in last season’s League One – 12 points adrift of second-placed Alloa – Brechin proved the surprise package of the play-offs when sealing a Championship berth. Brechin, who train on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, are one of two part-time teams; the other, Dumbarton, have the benefit of a central Scotland location in respect of attracting players.“A club of our size doesn’t have the resources to plan appropriately for being in the Championship,” says Ken Ferguson, Brechin’s chairman. “So you get up there, reappraise the situation and want to give it the best shot you can but you can’t by any means stretch the club to keep up with full-time teams. We knew it would be hard, probably not as hard as it has been.”This season in more auspicious surroundings is at least lucrative for a club which announced a £40,000 loss in 2017. Attendances have hovered around the high hundreds and the Brechin Supporters’ Club is still running a bus to all away games; around 20 diehards are ever-present. Following Brechin City has never been one of football’s soft options. In 112 years of existence, the club’s honours list extends to a handful of Second and Third Division titles alongside the Forfarshire Cup. Brechin are, in fact, the kind of perennial lower league club commonly disparaged by those further up the chain. That Northern Ireland’s Michael O’Neill is among those to start out on a managerial journey at Glebe Park suggests Brechin actually have plenty to offer.This season they are on the verge of breaking records they would rather avoid. They head into Saturday’s Championship meeting with Dundee United having won only a single fixture – against Highland League Buckie Thistle, in the Scottish Cup – out of 32 played this season. Fortune clearly has not been on Brechin’s side; having edged out Buckie, they were drawn against Celtic and lost 5-0 in the next round. Their goal difference in Scotland’s second tier is minus 38, with their four points the result of draws. They are the only team in the top divisions of English and Scottish football without a league victory. The situation would be extraordinary at any level, let alone a professional one. Key in the thoughts of Brechin’s staff for now is beating the 10-point total of Clydebank in the equivalent league in 1999-2000. They are at least now level with Dundee, who amassed four in 1898-99. As if to prove what a brutal business football was in that era, winless Vale of Leven claimed five points in 1891-92 and Clyde six a season later.“I think the atmosphere and attitude would be harder if we were full-time players and in training every day,” says Patrick O’Neil, the Brechin goalkeeper, who has never played in a team reaching March winless in a league. “When it’s only twice a week, you don’t really get down about things. And there has been an excitement about playing a lot of really good teams at really good stadiums in the Championship. The spirit is actually fine but it helps that it’s such a good club that treats you well.”The supporters’ club chairman insists the scenes will be “mental” if or when Brechin notch a league victory. Others at the club, it seems, would greet such a win with relief. In an industry where managerial sackings can transpire after eight games, that Brechin – a members-owned club run by committee – have stuck by Darren Dods eight months into this campaign is highly admirable. Brechin even afforded Dods resources to bring in loanees from Premiership clubs in January.“We are proud of our reputation of bringing young managers through,” adds the chairman. “It is hard getting players to travel to clubs like ours so you have to be a good club. That’s all based on reputation. It is too easy to sack managers. Darren is doing everything he can and the vibe in the dressing room is good.“We will go down as a better team, with better players and in a stronger financial position than when we went up. Obviously we don’t want this hanging over us about not having a league win and players’ own professional pride will hopefully deal with that.” Which is the least successful English footballing city? To have no wins so far into the season obviously isn’t nice but the banter has been good Brechin Twitter last_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *