In pictures: Falkirk pre-season preparations ahead of Kilmarnock clash

Falkirk manager John McGlynn has opted to make a move to grass pitches for pre-season, with the squad returning to Little Kerse in Grangemouth after a lengthy spell away from the sports facility, formerly the club’s main training centre.

By Ben Kearney
Thursday, 23rd June 2022, 1:49 pm

In previous campaigns, the Bairns have trained at the Falkirk Stadium, but the former Raith Rovers boss believes a move to grass will benefit the team going forward.

Recent signings Liam Henderson, Coll Donaldson, PJ Morrison, Stephen McGinn, Sean Mackie and Gary Oliver have all taken part in training, but the bulk of the current group is made up of contracted players from last campaign.

The likes of Steven Hetherington and Brad McKay will be hoping to put last year behind them under new stewardship,

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The Bairns have returned to Little Kerse (Photos: Michael Gillen)

Having been in since Saturday morning, all of the squad have now returned ahead of the Kilmarnock friendly tomorrow night.

That match, to double up as the grand opening of the Kevin McAliister Stand, begins at 7.30pm, with tickets on sale now.

The match also marks the 25th anniversary of the 1997 Scottish Cup final, which saw the Bairns go down 1-0 to Killie.

Board member Kenny Jamieson confirmed that a return to grass was on the cards when speaking to the Herald last month.

Sean Mackie brings down the ball

“We’ve taken a lot of advice from different people in the game and that has been helpful,” he explained.

"Our previous head coach, Martin Rennie, was a great source of knowledge and perspective of what a good football club look like from his travels across the world.

"We had spoken to Martin and Kenny Miller at length and they both mentioned training at the stadium was possibly having a negative impact in some areas.

"When players are recovering from a match playing on an older astroturf pitch on a Saturday, it isn’t great practice to be going back onto the same pitch on the Monday.

Callumn Morrison takes a moment

“In their eyes, it was hampering the way the players bounced back from slight knocks and in general that it wasn’t the best way forward for the club.

"John McGlynn and Paul Smith had said they would prefer to train on a grass surface so we are working towards making that happen.”

Jamieson also confirmed that the boss would be able to bring in part-time players if he wishes, adding: “John and Paul are in total control of what goes on, and we have said to both that if they wished to bring in a part-time player, they could do that.

"To be honest, I am not quite sure how it would work, but the option is there. A common myth, though, is that they would cost less. What we have witnessed over the past few years is that they can be paid similar to our guys.”

Fitness coach Graeme Henderson watches on
Ryan Williamson takes on his man
Steven Hetherington makes a tackle
John McGlynn organises his players
Steven Hetherington pushes forward
Boss John McGlynn watches on
Craig McGuffie puts in the hard yards
Luke Holt rolls the ball out
Leon McCann with his eyes on the ball
The sun made it a tough workout
Paddy Martin makes a save
Sean Mackie grimaces during the warm-up
Assistant manager Paul Smith sets up a drill