Dunfermline Athletic

Hughes grateful for Alloa

Monday, 21st Feb 2022

Pars boss congratulates new manager at Alloa Athletic

Today manager John Hughes spoke about how bitterly disappointed he and his players were that Friday night’s match against Partick Thistle fell foul of the weather. He used Saturday to train on the AstroTurf at Alloa:

“With the amount of rain we had all week, there was one side of the pitch that seems to struggle most. We were looking forward to the game. Going by the last time we played Partick I don`t think there`s too much between the teams and we were looking forward to it.

“We were well prepared, and then you just go into a different mode once it gets called off. We gave the players Friday off, we trained Saturday, we got a good session in on Saturday, and then it gave us the opportunity to go down and watch Kilmarnock.”

Dunfermline also had eyes taking in Hamilton Academical’s game against Morton and down at Queen of the South to watch Willie Gibson’s side take on league leaders Arbroath. Now though it is all about preparing for the game this Saturday against Kilmarnock.

With one storm after another hitting the country the manager has been delighted to have the use of the Indodrill Stadium for training and confessed that they will miss it when they leave for their own training headquarters, he continued:-

“It’s a fantastic facility, it really is. It’s a fantastic surface, the AstroTurf is great, and we’re in the stadium so there’s bits of it where you get protected from the wind and you can really put sessions on.

“When it’s got a wee bit of rain and a wee bit of dew on it, the pitch is really quick. They’ve looked after us, so there’s no excuse there.”

Without leaving the subject of Alloa, John Hughes also wanted to congratulate Brian Rice on his appointment as manager of Alloa Athletic. The former Pars player and more recently manager at Hamilton Academical is a good friend of the Dunfermline boss. Rice assisted Hughes at Falkirk helping them to the First Division title in 2005 and to the Scottish Cup final in 2009.

Above: Brian Rice as assistant at ICT and Mo Hutton

Rice followed Hughes to Hibs when he was appointed manager there in June 2009 and in July 2015 to Inverness when John Hughes became their manager. In recent months Rice has been an observer at training and at matches. The gaffer explained how pleased he was to be able to draw on the experience of his 58 year old friend:-

“Brian’s been good eyes and ears and a good sounding board, not just for me but for the coaches, Steven and Greg, as well. He only stays five minutes from Alloa, where we’ve been training, and it was good for him to come in. We can only wish him all the best.

“With Mike Mulraney there, he’s going into a good club and I can only wish him all the best. I think he was at their game on Saturday and they won 2-1, so I don’t know if he’s taking credit for that! He’s a good coach and a good football guy, and it’s important these guys stay in the game.”

Above: Brian Rice at East End Park with John Robertson

All that Rice has been doing is being eyes and ears and John compared it to when John Collins comes along, as a friend.

“You get them to come along, and anybody else, and look at the game. You would be stupid if you didn’t take counsel and phone them up and ask, ‘what did you see, what can we improve on?’.

“Sometimes you might not agree with what they’ve seen. That’s the way football works. Brian has been with me for a number of years and everybody knows how much of a football guy he is. He’s gone to a real good club and we wish him all the best.

“I still think he’ll pop up every now and again on the training pitch, with Alloa being part-time. He’s a football guy, what else is he going to do? It’s not golfing weather, it’s freezing cold, so he’ll still be in and about it.”



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