The departure of Ryan McGeever for Brechin City during the close season meant that we needed to appoint a new Club Captain. The Club Captain (who is not necessarily the Playing Captain) is a role which carries a number of responsibilities. He is the person who is the players’ representative to the Club, and who will have at times to represent the Club at various football events. He will also have the task of making a speech at the Club’s annual New Year dinner for players, coaches, and backroom staff (and previous Club Captains will tell you that this duty could be the most daunting). In addition to Ryan, distinguished recent holders of this post have included Richard Sinclair and Anthony Quinn. The Committee decided that we should approach Sean Burns and invite him to take on the role. Sean has been with us since 2011, having previously been with Airdrie United and St. Mirren. He has made 235 first-team appearances to date, and has scored 22 goals from the left back or left wing-back positions which he has made his own. I am delighted to say that Sean immediately agreed to accept this honour, and we all wish him well in this new role (start writing the speech now).
Members and supporters will also have noticed the reappearance of a familiar figure in the dugout for the last three matches, that of Chris Hillcoat. Chris, who had a long and distinguished playing career with Hamilton Academicals, was our Assistant Head Coach from February 2014 until the end of the promotion-winning 2015/2016 season. He then had to stand down from the role because of the pressures of running his window-blind business. However, Gus has been very keen to have him back and we are all delighted that Chris now feels that he is able to re-join the first team coaching staff, which of course also includes James Evans and Anthony Quinn.
Finally, mention should be made of Denise Tonner, who has been the familiar face in reception at the JB McAlpine for the last couple of years. Denise is leaving us at the end of this month and is moving to York for family reasons.
I would like to wish all three of them all the very best of luck.