Falkirk change fortunes

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The new defensive pairing at Falkirk want to turn last season on its head.

Chris Smith and Jonny Flynn will form a foundation at the back beside club captain Darren Dods and both want a contrasting season to the one just past in May.

Smith was part of the Ayr United side which fell out of the First Division.

Jonny Flynn, on the other hand, was at the opposite end of the table with high-flying champions Ross County.

But while Smith was in the cut and thrust of battle right through to the final day, Flynn was a frustrated on-looker as County romped to the title.

Now Smith and Flynn want a change of fortunes with the Bairns - and both know what it takes to get promoted.

“I was at Ayr and I got promotion from Division Two in the playoffs, “ explained 23-year-old Smith.

“That was good, then I suffered the relegation of last year.

“To be honest, I didn’t think we’d go down, but we did and that was disappointing.

“I’m hoping to turn last season on its head Division One-wise and I know the feeling of relegation and promotion, and SPL promotion will be an even better feeling than getting Ayr up to Division One, I’m sure of that.

“Going from part-time to full-time was a big draw for me, but going to a club like Falkirk is even better because we’re going to be challenging up at the top of the table.”

Flynn knows what that’s like after starting last season as a first-choice centre-half for Derek Adams. But he was red-carded against Hamilton and couldn’t break back into the first team as the Staggies romped the league.

“It was brilliant being part of the team, but I didn’t enjoy it as much because I wasn’t involved much.

“It was a long, hard year for me and come Christmas, the boys were flying and I knew I wasn’t going to get a game and I asked to leave, but they were a bit difficult over it so I had to wait it out.

“But it’s still good with all the boys, fair play they won the league and it’s good on my CV too.

“But I’ll get another one soon enough, and that will be the one that really counts because I’ll have been a part of it. And that, I hope will be with Falkirk, obviously.”

Flynn might not have featured many times last term but he did play a vital role in the Staggies title win - without him, they might not have been there.

He scored the goal - ironically against Falkirk - which kept County in Division One back in April 2011.

“Don’t bring that up though,” he warned. “It’s a long time in the past.”

Flynn and Smith both enjoyed run-outs in the 3-0 victory over Stirling Albion and the draw with Fortmartine on Monday night.

And Flynn says it’s important to get a winning mentality early on - much like his manager says.

“At the start of the season the first couple of games can make or break your season, and the first couple of days of pre-season sets the tone.

“The boys are all working hard and hopefully that continues and we make a good start.

“The cup games will be a chance to build some confidence, and we’re looking for a good pre-season, a good couple of wins and we can start from there.”

n FALKIRK were involved in their third game of pre-season last night, and the second of their pre-season tour. The club is based in Peterhead and faced Turriff United.
Match reaction will feature in next week’s Falkirk Herald as well as extensive coverage of Saturday’s friendly in Fraserburgh.

A match report from last night is available on 
www.falkirkherald.co.uk.