Ex-Bairn tips Falkirk and Sibbald for 2019 glory

Alex Rae is backing the Bairns. Picture Michael Gillen
Alex Rae is backing the Bairns. Picture Michael Gillen

Former Falkirk midfielder Alex Rae reckons the Bairns will “shake things up” in the Championship next season.

Craig Sibbald will be central to those plans according to the former Dundee and St Mirren boss who also paid tribute to departing technical director Alex Smith.

Alex Rae played for the Bairns in the late 1980s.

Alex Rae played for the Bairns in the late 1980s.

Speaking to BetStars.uk online bookmaker and casino, he thinks season 2018-19 could be “a good opportunity” for Paul Hartley’s men.

Q: What do Falkirk have to do to get back to the Scottish Premiership?

Rae: They’re now talking about becoming a fan-owned club where their supporters will contribute on a monthly basis to the club and this will help towards the budget, plus you have your season ticket money. That would give you a better chance of fighting to try and get promotion because you end up with more revenue. They’ve got a new manager in Paul Hartley and they’re obviously trying to frontload their playing budget for the first team so I expect Falkirk will shake things up in the Championship next year.

Q: Do you think Paul Hartley should stay on as head coach?

Rae went on to play for Wolves, Sunderland and Rangers and also managed St Mirren and Dundee.

Rae went on to play for Wolves, Sunderland and Rangers and also managed St Mirren and Dundee.

Rae:Paul Hartley has got plenty of experience, he’s achieved couple of promotions at Alloa Athletic and he knows that level now. He’s been there for the best part of two thirds of this season so it gives him an idea and gives him a chance to build, get his own players in the summer transfer window and then kick on. It’s not a strong Championship now and Falkirk have a good opportunity to try and at least make the play-offs or push on for automatic promotion next season.

Q: Who would you say is Falkirk’s most important player?

Rae: Craig Sibbald has been there for a long time and if they can get him back playing at the level he’s capable of, he could be the catalyst around which they can build the team next season. He’s only 22 but he’s been there for a while and he’s played 250 games so he’s got the experience. I think he can be a key player for them trying to get back up into the Premiership next year.

Q: Alex Smith, the technical director of Falkirk, has announced that he’s retiring at the end of the season after 60 years in football, do you know him well?

Rae: Alex is known as the Godfather for obvious reasons. He’s been and done it all, he’s worked at every single level. He’s been a board member, he’s been a manager at several clubs, he’s won a few trophies and he’s now director of football at Falkirk. He’s always been there for young managers to contact as part of the League Managers Association as well. He’s the go-to guy if you’re having an issue as a manager and coach because he just has such a wealth of experience. He’s moving to Australia which I think is a wise move considering the weather in Scotland and it’s thoroughly deserved and I hope he enjoys his retirement.

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