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Academy manager's praise for defence

By Will Clark

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Davie Kirkwood is pleased with his team’s performance in the pre-season friendly against Inverness City.
Davie Kirkwood is pleased with his team’s performance in the pre-season friendly against Inverness City.


(Scorers – Inverness City: Miller. Wick Academy: David Allan, Cunningham, Weir.)

DAVID Kirkwood is getting the response he has been asking for at just the right time.

As Wick Academy head into competitive action for the first time this season, the new manager said that issues at the back are being resolved.

The Scorries were in Dingwall last Saturday to take on North Junior division one champions Inverness City at the Highland Football Academy.

Arguably one of the best junior sides in northern Scotland, Inverness took the lead after just two minutes thanks to a Gary Miller header.

But Academy produced their best performance of pre-season as they took the game by the scruff of the neck.

David Allan was seeking redemption after embarrassingly being sent off for lashing out at Lewis Harrold against Thurso FC. He went a little way to getting back into his manager’s good books by scoring the equaliser.

Kirkwood said Allan’s red card last week has put the team at a disadvantage going into the start of the Highland League campaign. “He needed to put in a performance after getting sent off against Thurso,” he said. “We are going to be missing him for the first two games against Clachnacuddin and Lossiemouth.

“It is not ideal to have him suspended, but I have told him that he won’t be doing that again.”

After the interval, Academy showed the difference between senior and junior level. City were not given a sniff of the ball as the Far North side controlled the game until the final whistle.

Their dominance was rewarded when Stevie Cunningham gave Wick the lead and Gary Weir ensured the game was beyond City’s reach with the third.

For all the attacking prowess, it was the men at the back who earned the praise from Kirkwood. “We dominated the game in the second half,” he said. “The defence made good use of the space and depth and didn’t give City a chance after the break.

“The whole team seemed to work as a unit rather than focus on attacking for the whole game.”

He continued: “I wasn’t too pleased that the smallest guy on the field scored with a header after two minutes. But we are getting all the bumps knocked out and are starting to look like a side that could do very well this season.

“Inverness City are one of the best sides in the junior league and provided a good test for us.”

Academy were due to play a North of Scotland Cup match against Halkirk United last night, and looking ahead Kirkwood said now he is aiming at getting a win at the weekend.

He also said that he won’t be afraid to stick some new blood into the team.

“Clachnacuddin will be a tougher opposition than anybody we’ve faced so far, but we will be focused on getting the win,” he stated.

“We are looking at keeping the same preparation that we’ve had for the North of Scotland Cup and pre-season friendlies.

“Even without suspensions, I would still look at experimenting with a couple of young players.

“It is a good way of breaking them in and getting into the team’s way of thinking.”

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