The Benchman: Things are getting better, man

How many of these players lining up for a Scotland B international can you name? Tweet your answers @FalkirkHeraldSp
How many of these players lining up for a Scotland B international can you name? Tweet your answers @FalkirkHeraldSp

The Benchman is enjoying the Women’s World Cup and is torn on whether or not to attend any of Falkirk’s friendly matches next month.

SIGNINGS: The clamour for new signings reaches fever pitch as the fixture lists come out. The history of the close season suggests that the best signings are those that come out of the blue and these can boost the sales of season tickets beyond belief. The “Stainrod Signing” is one that comes to mind and Jim Jefferies was a past master at the art of finding well-known players who have fallen off the radar. It’s interesting to look at the line-ups from about five years ago and then track the players concerned. Is there someone out there who could give us a year to remember?

Every year, I vow never to go back to any more friendlies, testimonials or charity matches

ANSWERS: The goalscorers against Ajax were Liam Craig and Chris Mitchell and the mystery player was Pat Quinn, pictured in a Blackpool strip.

DAVIE WEIR: Good to see Davie back in Scottish football. He was always a great ambassador for the game, and Senior Bairns still talk fondly of his question and answer session in the Cladhan a couple of years ago.

TEASER: Which Highland League club did Falkirk play in 1999 at Brockville when Kevin McAllister scored that wonder goal?

FRIENDLIES: Every year I vow never to go to any more friendlies, testimonials or charity matches. It’s a waste of time and money I persuade myself. They are only training matches and not the ‘real thing’. As the games get closer, I waver. Now, how do you get to Drogheda and back in a day?

CHANGING SEASONS: Look at what changing seasons did for Rugby League and Shinty. Unrecognisable. Bigger crowds, more income. Sky Sports is desperate to cover football during the summer schedules. Players would be less jaded for major tournaments. Makes sense? But could you persuade the blazers at Hampden Park?

GRANGEMOUTH SUMMER LEAGUE: An example of summer football that worked. Big crowds gathered every night. Some ding-dong matches. Goals galore. Juniors, amateurs and professionals, not to mention a few “ringers” provided great entertainment. Plenty of “blood and snotters” and end-to-end stuff. Marvellous times.