BENCHMAN: Looking forwards, and backwards

Which ground is this?
Which ground is this?

The Benchman is preparing for Ireland already, but is still looking back ruefully at Kilmarnock and the play-offs.

REFLECTIONS

In hindsight, the warning signals were there in the home leg against Killie and the physical difference between the sides was a crucial factor. Some of the team looked “done” in the second leg and they were bitterly disappointed at the end. The reception from the fans stunned everyone in the home stands and the Falkirk fans gave an object lesson in how to support your team -regardless of the final score.

WHAT IF?

It’s all hypothetical now, but the lack of height and physique was evident in both legs, and on occasions, the Falkirk players seemed to be bouncing off their opponents. What was evident was that Falkirk has the potential to support a top-flight team. The support, both home and away, would be the envy of some of the Premiership sides and you can only speculate what kind of crowds Falkirk would attract if they were challenging at the top end of the Premiership.

MANAGER AWARD

Those who have attended any of Peter Houston’s press conferences will bear witness to his openness and candid assessment of the game. He has done really well to finish second and split the pre-season favourites in Rangers and Hibs. The style of football has been exciting and to go through this league with only four defeats was no mean feat. He well deserved Ladbrokes Championship Manager of the Year.

SAM, SAM, SUPER SAM

An amazing £2,600 was raised at The Plough last Friday in aid of the Bring Gordy Home Fund. Races,raffles and auctions helped swell the total and it was a great night. Sam McGivern was there and what a great night he had. He donated the hat-trick ball from that game against Airdrie and showed just what Falkirk- and Gordon- meant to him. Top Man.

COMETH THE HOUR

Brendan Rodgers and Jose Mourinho are hailed as the great saviours of their new clubs and are hailed as the men to lead them back to The Promised Land. Both clubs will no doubt have thrown megabucks at their new recruits and both have a lot to lose. Rodgers refused to see the Celtic job as a step backwards and stressed his life-time affection for the club. He will be judged on two key factors- European progress and Old Firm outcomes. Mourinho will be a “Marmite appointment”, and his appraisal will be similarly-based- Champions League attainments and clashes with his new rival across the city. Both have a lot to lose and their progress will be fascinating to track. Neither will have a honeymoo

period and they will have a huge weight of expectation on their shoulders.

ANSWERS

Last week’s mystery picture was John McCole. Michael Higdon moved to St.Mirren from Falkirk.

TEASER

Who did Falkirk play in the 1957 Scottish Cup semi-final and where was it played?

SHELBOURNE BOUND

Flight times from Glasgow are favourable and prices are reasonable too.
Well I’m going for sure. What close season?