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We'll reach the Wylde blue yonder.


SIX months ago you would never admit in public to being an East Stirlingshire player.

Yesterday they sat as a team in a Falkirk pub - watching Scotland take on Lithuania - heads held high as THE form team in the country.

And boss Gordon Wylde insists the bond that has lifted them from being football's laughing stock to a team boasting six wins on the bounce can carry them out of the bottom division for the first time in 60 years.

He said: "We have a lot of players who have been over the course with East Fife, Cowdenbeath, Forfar.

"They've been used to winning and haven't had the feelings that myself or the four or five lads we've kept have been through in the past two years.

"The dressing-room is frightening just now - it's on a real high because the lads took such a battering last year.

"And people were right to knock us before because we were going nowhere.

"But this week I told the players to go and watch the Scotland game, have a few beers and feel proud of themselves.

"Even the fact they all got together for the Scotland match says a lot. They have a right to sit with their heads held high and say they play for the Shire.

"And I'm not setting myself or them up here because I know how quickly it can go downhill. But I'm ambitious for the club and myself.

"I go home to my bed and dream, the same as anyone else.

"And while I haven't said it out loud before, I want us out of this division."

The investment in East Stirlingshire by Spencer Fearn - a Yorkshire businessman who felt sorry for them - has allowed Wylde to up the ante at a club that was almost booted out of senior football only last season.

The Shire boss said: "I have a squad of 23 - which is unheard of here - and I've also started up a reserve and under 17 side. We now have seven coaches.

"And I've been watching the way my boy Greig is looked after at Rangers.

"They eat fruit, drink bottled water, the whole bit - we give the players all that at East Stirling now. The training kit's better than ever as well.

"I've even dipped into my pocket to make sure the shampoo is right.My wife Evelyn does the flowers for the ground too. The place FEELS right and now the mindset is there too.

"If we lost a goal last year we would then concede four or five because the heads went down. This year we've come from two down twice to win.

"And the good thing for me is that we're playing our way out of trouble. The ball has to be on the carpet."


Wylde: Targeting a promotion push
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Sep 9, 2007
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