‘We’ll work hard to send Alex Smith away with a win’ says Falkirk’s Louis Longridge

Louis Longridge celebrates his goal against Dumbarton with Lewis Kidd (left). Picture Michael Gillen.
Louis Longridge celebrates his goal against Dumbarton with Lewis Kidd (left). Picture Michael Gillen.

Alex Smith will say goodbye to Falkirk and Scottish football this week and Bairns forward Louis Longridge has pledged to give him a farewell gift of a win on Saturday.

The technical director is heading for Australia for his retirement with wife Janice and will live near her family in Brisbane.

Falkirk Herald backpage, April 26 2018

Falkirk Herald backpage, April 26 2018

Saturday will be an emotional occasion but with the Bairns safety secured and St Mirren’s SPFL Championship title in the bag it’s a chance for Smith, who led the Buddies to silverware and the Scottish Cup in 1987, to say goodbye.

Longridge told The Falkirk Herald: “It’s good for the club to have secured the safety. You don’t want to leave it to the last game of the season because the added pressure comes with that.

“The fact we’ve got our place in the league and the division champions are coming to visit us so it will be a special day. We have beaten them already so we know we are capable and it will be a good day with two good footballing sides so a good watch for the fans.

“It will be a good send-off for Alex going to Australia too and all the boys will be working hard to get that final win for him.”

Falkirk FC matchday backroom team members Andrew Lauder, Ian Kerr and Kenny Stoddart congratulate Alex Smith on his Outstanding Contribution Award from the club. Picture Michael Gillen.

Falkirk FC matchday backroom team members Andrew Lauder, Ian Kerr and Kenny Stoddart congratulate Alex Smith on his Outstanding Contribution Award from the club. Picture Michael Gillen.

If the performance from Falkirk is anything like the 5-2 win at Dumbarton Longridge is right – the fans are in for a treat.

LEAGUE TABLE: SPFL Championship

But it could also be a send-off for a number of the Bairns too. Several first team stars are out of contract, including Longridge.

He added: “I don’t know exactly what’s happening. It was a six month deal til the end of the season I had. The manager wanted to assure safety before speaking to players. We’ll assess it in the next couple of weeks.

Longridge struck Falkirk's second. Picture Michael Gillen.

Longridge struck Falkirk's second. Picture Michael Gillen.

“But I’ve thoroughly enjoyed every minute. I’ve got to play in front of terrific fans and week in week out they’ve turned up in their numbers.

“We’ve managed to secure safety and maybe a few weeks ago we were looking at a wee push for the play-offs but a few bad results were not good for the team but we’re glad to stay in the division because it could have gone either way.

“We’re pleased at that and it’s now about regrouping and I’m sure the manager will build a team for next year to try to get promoted from this division. A team like Falkirk should be in that position. Falkirk have been there in previous years and I’m sure that’s the goal for next season. I’ll wait and see what happens.”

Longridge could yet finish as the Falkirk top scorer and is currently tied with Joe McKee, Alex Jakubiak and Aaron Muirhead on seven goals.

"It's been a transformation of the team," says Louis Longridge. Picture Michael Gillen.

"It's been a transformation of the team," says Louis Longridge. Picture Michael Gillen.

He added: “When I’ve come in, the manger said he wanted goals and assists.

“As a team performance there was a transformation of the team and that was the difference so I can’t speak all about myself.

“But I feel I’ve chipped in my fair share of goals and assists and on a personal note I feel I’ve done that and trying to get some more and end the season on a high note.”