New Falkirk boss Paul Sheerin knows how to build a league winning side

Falkirk manager Paul Sheerin may have been away from first team management for seven years but his time in charge of Arbroath from 2010 to 2014 could have provided some pivotal experience as he attempts to guide Falkirk back to the Championship.

Saturday, 29th May 2021, 8:00 am
Paul Sheerin (right) leads his Arbroath team celebrations after winning the SFL Third Division (Pic: SNS/Ross Brownlee)

The new Bairns boss made his first steps in to management with the Red Lichties in 2010 when he brought his successful six year playing spell with St Johnstone to an end and became player/manager at Gayfield.

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The Angus club had been relegated to the Third Division after losing out to local rivals Forfar Athletic in the play-offs the previous season under Jim Weir.

In his first season at the club, Sheerin guided them straight back to the Second Division as champions playing both a pivotal role on and off the pitch.

Current Lichties chairman Mike Caird, who was vice chairman at that time, recalls how Sheerin came in and had to build a squad from scratch.

"Paul is a great guy,” said Caird.

"He came in at a difficult time for us after we'd been relegated and we only had two or three players.

"He built a completely new team of great players and was a great player himself and won the league in his first season.

"He is held in great affection at the club and we're delighted to see him appointed as Falkirk manager.

"He's a hard worker and will bring a bit of skill to the team as he likes to play football.

"He's a good personality to have at a club, he's passionate about the game and will be well liked by the dressing room but he's also a level headed guy with a lot of experience."

Sheerin will face a similar challenge with Falkirk this season as he will have to immediately set about recruiting almost an entirely new squad of players to try and win League 1 this season.

One of the many clubs standing in their way will be Montrose, managed by Sheerin’s former assistant manager Stewart Petrie who was part of that title winning coaching staff at Arbroath.

The Gable Endies boss looks back on that time fondly and is now looking forward to going head-to-head with his old colleague next season.

"I'm ever grateful to Paul for taking me on as assistant manager,” said Petrie.

"We didn't really know each other at that point so it was a leap of faith on his part but it worked great.

"We were helped by having a talented squad of players and I should add that Paul was one of them.

"Falkirk are getting a very talented coach, a guy whose will to succeed is second to none and I have no doubt he'll get everything out of his players and will leave no stone unturned in their bid for promotion.

"I firmly believe if we play a team managed by Paul that we'll have to play really well to beat them.

"He did a fantastic job recruiting players at Arbroath, and he comes into this job off the back of working with one of the best managers in Scotland at Aberdeen in Derek McInnes.

"I'm looking forward to catching up with them and I wish him every success apart from when we're playing each other of course!"