Skipper confident of improvement
22nd May 2016
Airdrieonians skipper Marc Fitzpatrick has vowed the frustration of missing out on the play-offs will fuel him to drive his new-look side on next season.
Influential midfielder Fitzy, 30, has pledged his future to the Club after signing a two-year contract extension that will keep him at the Diamonds until May 2018.
As the return to full-time football beckons, the former Scotland Under-21 star confessed: “When the season ended you couldn’t help but wonder what might have been.
“It was hard to watch Stranraer in the Play-Off Final, which I thought they should have won, against Ayr United because I felt it should have been us.
“We had beaten both Dunfermline and Ayr 3-0 in this closing games and that nags away at you.
“The great thing about football, though, is that you get to go again, to try and set it right.
“We have to use how we felt on the final day of last season to drive us on in the new one.”
With over 300 games behind him in the pro ranks, the experience and game know-how Fitzpatrick brings to the side is hugely valued inside the Club.
He topped the lists of both Head Coach Eddie Wolecki Black and his stand-in Danny Lennon when they were asked for opinions on who to try and secure for the way ahead.
Marc’s honesty and professionalism are what made him a vital figure for the journey we face, with the young players needing the right example to follow on the training field and on matchdays.
Fitzy was crucial in helping a shattered dressing-room recover from the shock of Head Coach Eddie suffering a major stroke at half-time during the 3-1 win at Cowdenbeath in March.
He spoke frankly of the first five games after the gaffer’s illness and insisted: ”I think it would be easy to use what happened as an excuse but the gaffer wouldn’t want that.
“We should have done better than two points then but the performances weren’t good enough in that spell until Danny Lennon rallied us for that run-in.
“We cost ourselves then and you have to be honest about that. Now you just want to see the gaffer back to full health for his family.
“I am delighted Kevin McBride has been promoted to help while he recovers because I know how we will train and play and pass it. The gaffer and Barra have the same philosophy.”
Former Motherwell and Ross County midfielder Fitzy is looking forward to life at the new Ravenscraig training complex and the chance to concentrate solely on being at the core of the new Diamonds.
He reasoned: “The switch from part-time to full-time for the Club was always going to mean this would be a tough summer behind the scenes.
“We will have to mix the experience we keep and sign with the youth we have coming up through the ranks but I am confident we can produce a side that can be up there again.
“I’m delighted to be part of it all and I can’t wait to get started.”