Falkirk derby day is significant for Peter Houston

Peter Houston leads Falkirk into their first competitive match of season 2014-15 against his former side
Peter Houston leads Falkirk into their first competitive match of season 2014-15 against his former side

Peter Houston knows first hand the significance of Saturday’s derby with East Stirlingshire - he played for both sides.

But the Bairns boss was actually employed at Brockville while playing for the Shire in the latter stages of his career.

“I wasn’t at the team in Falkirk and the chance to play came up with the Shire so I moved there and spent a year playing at Firs Park - while still working at Brockville.

“I enjoyed it immensely - there were a lot of good people there and they have a small but loyal fan-base - you don’t tend to forget these things in football.

“They’ll be looking to get one over on their rivals in what is a derby so we have to be prepared for that and be properly prepared.”

The Bairns boss is clearly taking the tie seriously. He hauled Rory Loy off after an hour of the Stirlingshire Cup final on Tuesday and rested the likes of David McCracken, Ollie Durojaiye and Jamie MacDonald ahead of the game at Ochilview which has been relaid for the new season.

“This is it for me, this is the start of the season and what we’ve been working towards. Friendly results don’t matter - I’ve been looking for improvement and I feel, aside from the first half hour with Stirling Albion, that we’ve got that.

“The players know that now and we can’t approach the East Stirlingshire game like we did at the start of the cup final.”

However the boss was pleased to get his hands on the trophy - even if his players seemed reticent and stood back from lifting the silverware after the 2-0 win.

“It’s always nice to get a trophy,” Houston added. “The young lads who came into the team or off the bench have done themselves no harm at all over the past few weeks, but it’s no secret I want a striker to help Rory out up front.

“We have to be very careful with him because if anything happens to him it’s Scott Shepherd and Botti Biabi. Another forward would help them in their development and take the pressure off them a little.”