Inverness Athletic FC added another chapter to their short history book today as the club fielded two separate sides in two separate fixtures for the first time ever. 1st team Manager Jason Golabek took his young new look side north to face Invergordon at Recreation Grounds, while Under 20s Manager Mike Hall was taking his squad east to Riverside Park in Nairn to face Nairn County Reserves.
Gary Campbell’s Invergordon would prove far too strong for this new look Inverness Athletic side today as they brushed Golabek’s men aside at a sunny Recreation Grounds. It was not the start to pre-season that the manager was looking for but despite the defeat he wanted to try and take some positives from the game.
He said after the game, “Yes, ok it was not the best start to our pre season but this was always going to be an extremely tough game for us to start with as it is the first time we have ever played together as a team. We have had to rebuild the whole squad from last season from basically nothing, with Liam Symonds the only player returning to this year’s squad from last. We had a lot of young lads on the pitch today and its good for them to see the standards that they have to reach. We came up against a very strong Invergordon side who are always well drilled and are so clinical in front of goal. Despite the result we definitely saw things that we can work on at training and hopefully this is a wee wake up call to the players that we still need to put the work in if we want to win games at North Caley level.”
Mike Hall took charge of the Under 20’s first ever game today as they faced Nairn County Reserves at Riverside Park in Nairn. A goal from Owen Mcghee along with a very good defensive display was enough to ensure that the new youth wing of Inverness Athletic started life with a win.
Manager Mike Hall was delighted after the game, “I am very happy with the lads today. It is fantastic to finally get our first game, albeit its just a friendly, under our belt and to get the win is a bonus. It is brilliant to see that the hard work we have been putting in on the training ground over the last few months is working and the lads are taking on board what we are trying to teach them. Nairn County are a very good and physical side and they were always going to be a big test for our young lads but it’s a test I feel they handled well.”
Inverness Athletic FC Chairman Sandy Stephen had mixed emotions after the today’s results but all in all is delighted with the direction the club is moving, “This was a big day for the football club. We are only just about to start our 5th season as a club and to have 37 players and 5 coaching staff representing us today in two separate fixtures is a massive step forward for Inverness Athletic. Of course there is a hint of disappointment with the result in Invergordon but all in all the club is slowly growing and I am extremely proud of the fact that we are offering young players the chance to continue their football development with us. The future is looking bright for the club and that is what we want to concentrate on. Our first team fielded 7 players under the age of 20 today while our Under 20s had 8 players under the age of 18, it really is brilliant to see our coaches giving these young lads a chance to play football at a good competitive level.”