As the Scottish football league season draws to a close, Stirling University stars have headed out on loan to gain valuable professional experience in the Scottish Professional Football League.
After the Lowland League was curtailed due to lockdown reasons, Robbie McGale and Craig Brown were sent on loan to Montrose and Elgin City respectively to make up for the loss in playing time.
The promising duo have played different roles for their sides, and Brig has followed their journey along the way.
The current Stirling University skipper, Craig Brown, joined up with his former teammate Angus Mailer to sign on with the League Two promotion hopefuls Elgin City.
Craig has made five appearances for The Black and Whites so far on his loan spell and it is clear that the Borough Briggs side have appreciated his efforts as he was recently rewarded for his efforts with a pre-contract deal at Elgin.
Elgin City manager Gavin Price said following the deal: “He is the captain of the Stirling University team and in his final year there.
“There is a lot of interest in him from senior clubs for next season. He’s someone I have watched a bit of before, so I know he will have an opportunity to make an impact at Elgin.
“He can play anywhere across the midfield or in the forward positions which was one of the reasons we brought him in. We have not got the biggest of squads but we have a few guys who can play in several positions which is important.”
The move has proved to be successful with Elgin securing a play-off place in League Two, helped by a 3-1 victory over Stirling Albion.
Also testing himself in the SPFL was Stirling University winger Robbie McGale who played for Montrose at the end of the season.
McGale has been impressive for his parent side so far by being one of the standout players for Chris Geddes’ side before the season was prematurely curtailed.
He has featured in three different games this season for Stewart Petrie’s side – including a 3-0 over East Fife.
When Robbie signed, Petrie was excited about what he could bring, he said:
“Our special relationship with the University of Stirling continues to develop in a very positive manner. I am delighted to welcome Robbie on board and would like to thank Chris Geddes for all his help and efforts in making the move happen.
“With our heavy schedule of fixtures in the next few weeks it is important we have depth and options throughout the squad and we are hoping to strengthen further before the loan transfer closes tomorrow night.”
Stirling University boss Chris Geddes will welcome McGale back to his squad for the upcoming Lowland League campaign next season, but he will be without several important first team players who are graduating at the end of June.
These include: captain Craig Brown; striker Kieran Hall; left back Callum Downie, and defender Alex Webb. The players trained for the last time together at the start of this month.
Geddes will be pleased to welcome back Lowland League top scorer Jamie Penker for his final season with Stirling. Penker scored 11 goals in 15 games in last season’s curtailed league campaign.
Exciting youngster Louis Kennedy will also be looked upon to cement a place in the team next season, whilst left-back Marcus Lavery looks well placed to replace the outgoing Callum Downie.
Chris Geddes said: “ “It’s great that we at least have a start date now, and our full focus is on next season.
“It is an earlier start so we will be starting training in June. We’re in training now, but we will give the players a five week break before we come back next season.
“Because it is a rebuilding year, we will need to do a lot of work on the pitch with the new boys, but we’re all looking forward to it now.”
Feature image credit: Montrose website / Daniel Forsyth.