Happy Xmas!

Stewart Donald, Charlie Methven and Juan Sartori have joined the Gift of Football campaign by purchasing 50 adult tickets each for the Bradford game. Stewart Donald said: “We have seen an amazing response to this initiative over the weekend and it’s only right that Charlie, Juan and I play our part by each donating 50 tickets. Christmas should be a time for family and friends, yet for so many it can be one of the hardest periods of the year. Our fans are known for their generous spirit and the response so far has been overwhelming. We’d love to see more fans and even businesses get involved. By working together, we really can make a difference to our community.”

Charlie Methven added “This is the One Club philosophy in action: all parts of the SAFC community coming together to have a good time and achieve things. There will be many who simply cannot contribute, and we fully understand that, but we urge those who can do so to help make this Christmas really special for those in less fortunate circumstances.”

Jack Ross and his players have joined in with an initiative. He said: “I don’t know how many the players are giving, I am not buying 50, no! I am buying tickets but not 50, that’s not because I am tight, I am not a tight Scotsman, just not as wealthy as they are! There is a knock-on effect, we will have people in the stadium because a stadium with fans in it is brilliant anyway. The crowd will be a good one on Boxing Day and that is an obvious one was well, but it’s just a great idea. It encourages supporters to believe that the players here at the club appreciate them, and they have bought into this club and they understand the area, the fanbase. During Stewart’s ownership of the club, you have to commend him on how he has tried to rebuild the relationship between supporters and everyone on the football side of the club. He has done a remarkable job on that. There have been innovative and creative ideas. I know it came from a supporter, but to support the idea is terrific. If you are a lover of football then it is refreshing to hear the good things about the game. Stewart, Charlie and the players are all supportive of it. It is a reflection of how the club is feeling at the moment and it’s about continuing the growing relationship with the fans. The good thing is with the dialogue I have with Stewart and Charlie, he asked if he could speak with George Honeyman to make sure they understood the idea behind it. It is easy if you believe in what is being done, it is a brilliant idea and it will benefit people those who don’t always get to watch us play. Fitting at this time of the year.”

George Honeyman added: “Win, lose or draw, our support has been outstanding this season and as players no single gesture could ever do it justice. But while thousands turn up each and every week and enjoy football at the Stadium of Light, we appreciate that many of our supporters are unable to attend games regularly, if at all, so the festive period is the perfect time for us to give something back. All of the players have seen the idea growing on social media and it’s been the talk of the dressing room, so we are delighted to be involved and we will be surprising fans throughout the next couple of weeks.”

Ross also commented on rumours linking Tom Flanagan to Swansea City. "All these things you read - the stuff with Josh earlier - when you are doing well and the squad has been in a good place, you don't want to disrupt it in any way," said Ross. "I would be reluctant to lose anybody I have got in my squad at the moment because they have all played their part so far, they have all had game time and contributed in different ways. It [speculation] goes with the territory when you are doing well, so that's not such a bad thing. We always try and plan and prepare because you never know what might happen - you might get an offer for a player that is too good to turn down - but I don't really want to do too much in January. I've got a good squad and with Charlie [Wyke] and Duncan [Watmore] coming back, they will be fresh players, if you like. I don't want to do too much, if anything, because we are doing OK."

In other news, we have given a trail to ex-Newcastle United defender David Edgar. Jack Ross said: "I think we're going to have a look at him next week. It's a bit challenging at the moment because of the schedule and that's why I was a bit reticent to commit last week. We are not training an awful lot at the moment just because of the number of games. We need to do it next week, because if we wait for a clear week there are not too many of those about! It's more a case of looking at players who are versatile in defence," said Ross, when asked if central defence is the area he is keen to bolster. Donald [Love] is out for a while, Denver [Hume] is out for a while, so we could maybe do with one who can play across the defensive positions, but it is not anything urgent. Sometimes there are just times when you are able to look at players and it doesn't cost you anything to do so. I'm open-minded about that, and I've always taken that approach that there's always the chance you will be blown away by somebody when you didn't expect it. I wouldn't do it for the sake of it - if you have ten centre-forwards, there's no point taking another - but I'm usually happy to take a look at somebody, regardless of where they play."

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