Murphy quits Albert as Fairies and Vale prepare for cup

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HAWICK ROYAL ALBERT coach Mick Murphy has become the latest in a lengthening list of managers to walk away from the Albert Park club due to player commitment, writes Fiona Scott.

Despite being thrashed 10-0 by East of Scotland new boys Duns on Saturday, Murphy had been willing to stick with his team.

However, after receiving text messages from two players saying they were quitting on Sunday, Murphy handed in his resignation with immediate effect.

He told TheSouthern: “I just felt like I was wasting my time. It got to the stage that I had a full team on a Friday night and by Saturday morning only half of them turned up.

“I spoke to the players about their commitment three weeks ago and nothing has really changed since. I was going to have a chat with them again on Tuesday night, but the text messages on Sunday were just the end of it. I didn’t want to go, but enough is enough.”

Murphy went on to praise Albert captain Brian Tait and the management committee, but stated that without the backing of a full team the club would continue to struggle.

He said: “We have around half a dozen players who turn up for training and games week in, week out, and then others who just think they can turn up on a Saturday.

“You have to be fit at this level and to get that fitness you have to train. They all talk a good talk on Facebook, but when it comes to playing they just won’t put in the training.

“The committee has put a lot of hard work into turning the club around and upstairs they have done that. My job was to turn things around downstairs and that just hasn’t happened.”

Current coaches Davie Aitken and Malcolm Cooper will take the reigns until a new manager is found.

This weekend the Royalists travel to play Ormiston, while neighbours Gala Fairydean take over at Albert Park, due to the ongoing work on the 3G pitch at Netherdale.

The Fairies play their Scottish Cup second-round tie against North Caledonian amateur outfit Golspie Sutherland.

Assistant coach Garry Fraser told us: “We have found it difficult getting information on Golspie, but have managed to get bits and pieces. We know they lost 4-1 to Clachnacuddin second team on Saturday.

“We are confident, but not overly so. Golspie will be determined to give a good account of themselves and drew with Girvan at this stage of the cup last year before going out in the replay. We have to make sure we play better than we did at Kelso in our last game [lost 2-1].”

Gala have a full squad of 22 to chose from with Grant Gass, Arron Brunton and, hopefully, Craig Livingstone back in contention for a place.

Vale of Leithen are also involved in second-round cup action when they take on Cove Rangers at Victoria Park. Selkirk are back in East of Scotland league action this weekend with a trip to Tynecastle on the cards, while Peebles Rovers and Kelso United are at home to Duns and Coldstream respectively.

z Following their 1-0 victory over Stranraer last Sunday (see report on page 24), Gala Fairydean Under-19s have landed a plum home tie against Aberdeen in the third round of the SFA Youth Cup to be played on Sunday, November 13.