Ferry sheds a burden as he hands over the Peterhead armband
Simon Ferry has relinquished the captain's armband at Peterhead, but will not hide from his responsibility to play a leading role in returning Jim McInally's side to Ladbrokes League 1 at the first attempt.
Surprisingly, for such a gregarious and engaging character, he was uncomfortable with his role as skipper last season, although it was no doubt compounded by the dismal feeling of relegation.
Now the former Celtic, Dundee and Swindon Town midfielder feels like a burden has been lifted by handing the job over to experienced centre-back David McCracken, who is one of McInally’s key summer recruits.
Ferry ironically made his announcement at a captain’s press conference at Hampden.
He said: “I’m not captain any more. I totally didn’t want to do it anyway and Davie McCracken’s taken it.
“He’s 35 and been the captain at Falkirk for the past five years and when he came in I thought he would be better suited for it.
“I didn’t really want to do it last year either, but I did it to help out when Jim McInally asked me.
“There’s a lot of stuff that the captain does that I didn’t really want to do – talking about bonuses, tickets and things like that.
“I feel I have started the season quite well, so maybe it’s helped me.”
Ferry was quite badly hurt by Peterhead’s demise last season – especially the manner in which it occurred, with Forfar thrashing them 5-1 at Balmoor in the play-off final.
However, his optimism for the new campaign is justified after a very impressive Betfred Cup campaign which ended in sheer heartache for the Blue Toon.
The 28-year-old said: “I got relegated at Swindon from League One to League Two and that was horrible.
“Last season was just as bad, especially the way we got relegated. We lost 5-1 on the last day of the season and it was a terrible performance.
“We hadn’t played well for months to be honest and we probably didn’t deserve to stay up.
“So the boys that are left and the new ones that have come in, it’s up to us to get us back up to League 1.
“Jim has brought in good players and you could tell their calibre straight away – boys like Willie Gibson and Paul Cairney.
“They have played at a good level and they want the ball all the time. Last year there was a big burden on Rory McAllister to score all the goals so hopefully this will take the pressure off him and they can chip in.”
While he is pleased about what lies ahead in League 2, it is fair to say Ferry is frustrated that Peterhead managed to accumulate nine points in their Betfred Cup group and failed to qualify.
Of course, Hearts were their victims in this points accumulation when they were beaten 2-1 last week to further diminish the stock of manager Ian Cathro among some supporters.
He said: “When you win three games out of four you expect to go through, so it’s a bit of a sickener.
“I think this bonus point rule for penalties is a bit stupid, but that’s just me. It’s the Dunfermline game that’s killed us. They beat us 5-1 and if we had kept the score down there we might have made it.
“We’re so disappointed for the directors that we didn’t make the last 16 and draw one of the big teams because they put so much into the club.
“But we can take the positives that we have made a good start to the season, so hopefully we can have a good season after the disaster of last year.
“And hopefully we can win the league, or at least get promoted for them.”
In parallel with his performances for Peterhead, Ferry is making his move as an internet star with his chatty interviews with players like Aiden McGeady, Charlie Mulgrew and Charlie Adam on the open-goal website.
His interview subjects seem relaxed by Ferry’s style and give up some interesting tales from the dressing room.
He added: “They guys I’ve had on have been excellent – really good. We did Kris Boyd last week and we’ll put that out in a couple of weeks. He’s got a couple of good tales about Walter Smith!”