Civil Service Strollers boss Gary Jardine backs his young guns to cause problems for bigger sides

Civil Service Strollers boss Gary Jardine insists the club is committed to giving youth an opportunity this season.

Gary Jardine, the Civil Service Strollers manager, has a young squad for the season ahead
Gary Jardine, the Civil Service Strollers manager, has a young squad for the season ahead

Ahead of Saturday's Lowland League curtain-raiser at Dalbeattie Star, Jardine revealed the Christie Gilles Park squad has just six players over the age of 21, the vast majority still being eligible for the club’s under-20 side.

However, the former Edinburgh City manager is excited by the potential to unearth a few gems and to work with the three Hibs youngsters, Josh Currie Yrick Gallantes and Oscar MacIntyre, who have been brought in on loan.

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Currie is a centre-forward who can also operate at right wing-back, while Gallantes can play on either flank.

MacIntyre is equally comfortable as a left-back or left wing-back.

“We’ve only got six players in the squad over the age of 21 so the emphasis is heavily on youth,” Jardine told the Evening News.

"However, it’s something I am really excited about.

“We know there are going to be inconsistencies with young players, but I’ve been really impressed with them so far – they come in and knock their pan in, they work really hard and they listen.

“They’re still learning. I think it’s likely that we’ll have the youngest squad in the league outside of the B teams and the uni sides, but we’ve got some right good players, so I’m pleased with what we’ve got.

“I think we’ll win more than we lose and on our day I think we are more than capable of beating the bigger teams in the league.

“Can we win the league? No. I think for us getting a good start is important. Dalbeattie have strengthened considerably, so I think we can expect a tough game down there on Saturday. But the quicker we gel and find our rhythm, the better it will be for everyone.”

Jardine remains critical of the inclusion of the Old Firm’s B teams this season.

“I have had time to think about it and I still don't think it's right,” he said.

“I believe the right thing to do for a young player's development is to go outside the environment they are used to, away from the structure of the club.

“I just don’t see what the rest of the clubs are going to get out of it.

“I don’t believe the attendances will increase when they visit Christie Gilles. Perhaps early on there might a novelty factor, only time will tell.”