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Emanuel Bohucký opens the scoring against FC Poland at NHP this afternoon.

Emanuel Bohucký opens the scoring against FC Poland at NHP this afternoon.

Brook Street recorded a fine 4-0 win over FC Poland at New Home Park this afternoon, however wins for both Basel-Celtic and Stirling Bridge meant the victory was not enough to improve the Monifieth side’s third place in the Division.

Brook Street looked lively from the kick-off and took the lead through Emanuel Bohucký just after the half-hour mark. The lead was doubled by Andrew Cleary with sixty-four minutes on the clock and Lope Cabrio got his second goal for the club with seventy-four minutes gone to make it 3-0. Player-coach Leoš Loos wrapped up the scoring four minutes later, but despite the win the coach admitted that time [and matches] was running out for his side.

“We knew that we were looking for other sides to do us a favour, but it didn’t pan out that way this week”, he said. “All we can do is keep winning our matches and hope that someone else slips up”.

He added, “We scored some excellent goals today, and our play at times was superb. If nothing comes of this season’s campaign, we’ll be all set for next season”.

Unmarked Muhammad Noorani slides home our second goal.

Unmarked Muhammad Noorani slides home our second goal.

The reserves showed the first team how to do it this morning, winning 5-0 against German Liga VII side SV Waldhof Ludwigshafen 1907. Attila Gyöngyösi bagged a brace either side of half time with our other goals coming from Muhammad Noorani and Matt Cocker before the break, and Sam Ferretto after.

While happy with the overall result, Brook Street coach Leoš Loos was again critical of his side’s performance saying, “Our finishing was clinical, but we were still slack at the back and had it not been for the post, and Jim Barnstaple being in excellent form, the result could have been very different”.

“It’s clear to me now that I will have to focus on the defence when it comes to bringing in new players”, he added, “and although we really need another winger, the back line is of greater concern”.

On the plus side, the players have a clean bill of health for Saturday’s match at home to FC Poland.

Abel Soffia is dispossessed in this afternoon's defeat at Parkhead.

Abel Soffia is dispossessed in this afternoon’s defeat at Parkhead.

With only four games remaining, this afternoon’s 1-0 reversal at Parkhead could prove pivotal in Brook Street’s championship aspirations. Such is the tightness of the league, the defeat saw the New Home Park side slip from first to third in the table.

Prior to the match, Brook Street coach Leoš Loos had suggested that preventing Celtic’s top marksman Robert Nordeng from scoring would help secure a Brook Street win, and while Nordeng did indeed fail to get his name on the scoresheet, due in the main to the fact that he wasn’t playing, his replacement, Qamar Bhagat, got the crucial goal.

“We had our destiny in our own hands and we’ve let ourselves down badly today”, admitted a despondent Leoš Loos at the post-match press conference. Now we need other results to go our way, and to be perfectly honest, I can’t see that happening”.

“We had a chance to put down a real marker today, but we’ve shot ourselves in the foot”. He continued, “Even if we were to make it to the play-offs, our record now is so bad that we’d more than likely face an even tougher challenge than last season, and we all know only too well how that turned out”.

Before cutting the press-conference short, he said, “Now we start preparing for next season”.

Sam Ferretto fires in the third of his goals against GoYa 69 this morning.

Sam Ferretto fires in the third of his goals against GoYa 69 this morning.

It was the Sam Ferretto show at New Home Park this morning as he hit two unanswered second half goals to complete his hat-trick and help Brook Street to a 4-2 win over Swiss visitors GoYa 69.

Erwin Gratzei had put the visitors in front with only nine minutes played, but after thirty-four minutes it was all-square when Abel Soffia broke through to score.

Within the next five minutes the sides traded goals: firstly Sam Ferretto powered a header home to edge Brook Street in front; then Gaudenz Prêtre levelled with a fine solo effort, to send the sides in 2-2 at the break.

However, Sam’s two second half goals in a four minute spell either side of the hour mark proved to be decisive.

“It probably won’t be our best performance of the season, but we got the job done which is all that matters”, admitted Leoš Loos afterwards. “Sam took his goals well and is pushing for a starting place in the first team, but yet again we were suspect at the back”.

He continued, “We’ve been concentrating on our defensive frailties, but I think we need a lot more work. Fortunately, that’s exactly what these friendly matches are for”.

League debutante Lope Cabrio fires the ball through the Maxum keeper to make it 3-0.

League debutante Lope Cabrio fires the ball through the Maxum keeper to make it 3-0.

Brook Street stormed back to the top of the table thanks to their 3-0 win over Maxum at New Home Park, allied with Basel-Celtic’s 2-1 reversal at Stirling Bridge. Although the Monifieth side are level on points with Stirling, our huge goal difference is worth an extra point.

Inspired by the new midfield partnership of Cabrio, Alanne and Bohucký Brook Street were in complete control from the first whistle to the last, and it could easily be said that Maxum ‘got off lightly’. In addition to the three goals, the visitors crossbar was rattled twice as Brook Street dominated, and indeed the visitors failed to even challenge the Brook Street defence.

Andrew Cleary netted his eighth goal of the season to open the scoring after only six minutes, and Garabed Palasyan doubled the lead a quarter of an hour later. However, despite hitting the crossbar twice in the intervening period, it took until the seventy-first minute for Brook Street to make sure of the points, when Lope Cabrio capped a commanding performance by netting the third.

At the post-match press conference Leoš Loos praised his whole team, but the midfield in particular saying, “The boys were superb today, and we bossed the game from start to finish. The three lads in the middle controlled the game and were absolutely imperious! It’s only a shame that we only won 3-0 as for our dominance it could’ve been double that”.

He continued, “Our midfield trio were outstanding though and in one game they’ve shown exactly what we’ve lacked this season. Older heads definitely read the match differently, and it showed. If this experience rubs off on our younger players we’ll be set up for seasons to come”.

The win puts Brook Street onto the twenty-one point mark, along with Stirling Bridge, albeit Brook Street’s goal difference puts us top. Basel-Celtic are only two points back, and Sparta another one, so margins are as tight as they could be going into the final five games of the season.

This is all to apparent to the Brook Street coach and Leoš said, “This makes our next match against Basel-Celtic all the more important. With all due respect to their opponents, Stirling and Sparta have got to be favourites for their games at the weekend, so a win for us at Basel-Celtic is crucial”.

He continued, “Arguably, if we stop Robert Nordeng, we stop Basel-Celtic. That’s obviously got to be our aim, but we must also be aware of threats from other areas of the park”.

He concluded by saying, “If we keep winning, we’ll finish top. It’s as simple as that”.

Alex Claperton stabs home the first of his five goals in the 6-0 win over petruncola at NHP this morning.

Alex Claperton stabs home the first of his five goals in the 6-0 win over petruncola at NHP this morning.

It was the Alex Clapperton show in this morning’s friendly match against Italian visitors petruncola, as the winger netted five times in the 6-0 win. Krsto Grubić had opened the scoring in the thirteenth minute, but from then on it was the winger who was at the centre of the action.

“Every time he shot for goal it ended up in the net”, said coach Leoš Loos. “He could do no wrong in front of goal today. These things happen from time to time, and it’s always a good morale boost for the player concerned”.

He continued, “We set Alex the challenge of upping his scoring rate this season, but with these five goals and those he scored in the Cup campaigns, he’s already beaten it. It looks like we’re going to have to set the players more difficult targets”, the coach smiled.

Alex himself was quite reserved about his performance saying only, “The team played well and we got a good workout and win. It doesn’t really matter to me about scoring the goals, so long as the team are winning”.

The club this evening parted company with long-serving veterans Nemanja Jankovic and Andy Harte, along with Academy graduate Duncan Stanfield for what has been described as ‘nominal fees’. Nemanja heads off to Italy, and Serie VIII side CEP 1953, Andy has joined Polish VIII Liga side Fc’Sosnowiec, while Duncan will be plying his trade with DIABLOS ROJOS 77 in the Argentinian VI División

During his eighteen seasons at New Home Park Nemanja made a record total of two-hundred and thirty-seven competitive appearances, scoring fifty-seven goals in the process; in his twelve seasons at the club Andy played in one hundred and fifty-five competitive games, netting on twenty-nine occasions; and Duncan played ten times, scoring once in his two seasons following promotion from the Academy.

“It’s never an easy decision to move players on and it was especially hard with these guys”, admitted Leoš as the news broke. “I’ve watched Duncan progress through the Academy, and as for the ‘old-timers’, well they’re part of the furniture here!”

“Nemanja and Andy have both been here for a long time, a very long time”, he added. Actually,” he continued, “it’s a standing joke with Nemanja that he was going into his testimonial season when I arrived! It’s going to seem really strange without them around”.

“Although Duncan hasn’t been in the senior squad for long, he’s a product of our Academy. He’s a good lad, and with the right coaching in Argentina, he’ll go on to do well in the game”, said the coach.

Before they left for pastures new, each of the players spoke to the website.

First up was Nemanja Jankovic who said, “Firstly, I’d like to thank the fans and everyone who has made my family so welcome during our time here. I couldn’t believe it was eighteen seasons, the time has passed so quickly. Next up, I’d like to thank Brook Street Athletic Football Club for giving me so many great memories, along with a few medals!!! Finally, I’d like to pay tribute to my good friend, ‘the Gaffer’. He’ll no doubt take some stick from some who will not take our departures well, but he has everyone’s best interests at heart”.

He continued, “What no-one outwith the club knows is that I’ve been struggling since my injury and just can’t keep up with the likes of young Alex Clapperton; the heart’s there but the body isn’t. We all knew that my playing time here was coming to an end, and Leoš along with the Directors offered me a non-playing position within the club, ‘upstairs’ if you like. While I was genuinely flattered by the offer, I want to keep playing as long as I can, so I had to turn it down. They all understood my reasons though, and helped me achieve this new start for which I’ll be eternally grateful”.

Speaking of moving to Italy, he said, “I’m glad it’s a club from Abruzzo. It’s a beautiful part of the country, but it’s also really close to my family in Serbia! Seriously though, I’m looking forward to the new challenge and I’m sure it’s one I will rise to”.

He finished by saying, “I’m really sad to be leaving, but I will always remember my time at Brook Street as the best of my life.

Next up was Andy Harte who said, “I probably should have moved a season or so ago, but was easily persuaded to stay by Leoš. To be honest, I didn’t have to think twice; this is such a good club and it’s really well run. Ok, they perhaps underachieve, but it’s steady as she goes and we always get paid, which is more than can be said of some clubs”.

He cuntinued, “It’s probably been said a million times before, and it’s a real cliché, sorry, but Brook Street Athletic is a real family club. When players like me, Nemanja or Leoš arrive, we stay for a long time. That speaks volumes”.

He concluded by saying, “I would like to wish everyone connected with the club all the very best for the future, and I’ll be looking out for your results!”

Last, but not least was Duncan Stanfield who said, “I’m disappointed to be leaving the club as I thought I could do something with the senior team, but I can understand the reasoning why”.

“I’ve got an unbelievable opportunity in South America and to be honest, it hasn’t sunk in yet. It’s kind of like, ‘Wow! You’re going to be playing football in Argentina!’ I keep having to pinch myself”.

On his time at Brook Street he said, “It’s been a great experience, progressing from the Academy setup into the senior squad. I’d particularly like to thank Jeff Duilach for giving me a kick up the backside when I needed it. Ultimately, without him I wouldn’t be heading to Argentina!

“In addition, I’d also like to thank Nemanja for all his advice and Fraser Carragher for teaching me my first Spanish phrase: ‘Dos cervezas por favor’. I don’t know what it means, but I guess I’ll find out soon!

Everyone at the club wishes Nemanja, Andy and Duncan the best of luck with their respective new clubs.

Brook Street's new signings, Lope Cabrio and Eike Alanne (right) in training this afternoon.

Brook Street’s new signings, Lope Cabrio and Eike Alanne (right) in training this afternoon.

Brook Street coach Leoš Loos wasted no time in starting to ring in the changes he promised following the yesterday afternoon’s defeat, and within hours had signed two midfielders for a combined price tag of over £3million.

First in was 28 year-old German Eike Alanne who arrived from Swiss Liga V side Smash FC with a price tag of just under £2million, and shortly afterwards 30 year-old Spanish playmaker Lope Cabrio was signed for £1.2million from Liga VI side Mika’s Team.

Unveiling the new recruits at this afternoon’s press conference, the coach expressed his pleasure at securing the players.

“Quality costs money and although I would always prefer to pay less, the opportunity arose last night to sign the two players, and it wasn’t one I was going to let slip”.

Refuting claims that these are panic buys, the coach said, “We’ve been weak in midfield for quite some time as those of you who saw our performance yesterday will no doubt agree. These two lads are experienced and will give us that dig in the middle of the park, exactly what we’ve been missing”.

“Whether we can re-energise our campaign this season or have to wait until next, this is part of the rebuilding process that will see us make a concerted effort to gain promotion. These won’t be the last signings we make, but some existing players will move on beforehand. To that extent, I can announce that, having discussed the matter with the players concerned and their representatives, I can now tell you that Nemanja Jankovic, Andy Harte and Duncan Stanfield have all been transfer-listed”.

He added, “We’ve tried to slowly build the side by promoting from the academy, but with a few very notable exceptions, this hasn’t worked and as a result the club as a whole have been stagnating. This is where we kick-start it back into life, but what you can be assured of is that anyone coming in will have to be good enough to help us move the club forward. Second-best is not good enough for this club”.

Whilst many were quick to heap praise upon the reserves for their displays in this season’s Tartan Cup, the first team are unlikely to receive any on the basis of this afternoon’s performance against Stirling Bridge which saw the New Home Park side ship three goals without reply and with it relinquish the lead in the division after only two weeks.

“Spineless”, was Leoš Loos’ brief assessment of the performance, and there were few if any Brook Street fans in the ground who would disagree with the coach’s view.

“We deserved nothing and got nothing”, he continued. “This brought home to me in the starkest terms that this side has seen it’s day and we need to build a brand new one. What we have is not good enough for Division III so we now have to build for a concerted challenge”.

He continued, “Some players will have to make way for those coming in, and some of my decisions will not be popular, but we can’t afford to sit and do nothing. We’re going nowhere with this side and it’s up to me to do something about it”.

Sam Ferretto tests the Old Mc Schmutzki defence.

Sam Ferretto tests the Old Mc Schmutzki defence.

The reserves’ epic Tartan Cup run came to an end this afternoon as Division III side Old Mc Schmutzki ran out comfortable 5-0 winners.

Whilst some might say the result was a bit harsh for our reserves, the fact is that they were well outplayed by a very good side.

“We were well beaten and I’ve no complaints”, admitted Leoš Loos. He continued, “We’ve had a fantastic run in the competition this season, and I’m immensely proud of my players”.

“We had our final in the last round”, he continued, “but we’ll take a huge amount of positives from the campaign”.

Concluding, he said, “I’d like to wish Old Mc Schmutzki the very best of luck in the Quarter-finals”.

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