July 8, 2022
Cowdenbeath vs Airdrieonians
Callum Smith can’t wait to get season 2022/23 underway - and the striker is pleased to have a “home” game on Saturday as the Diamonds face his local team Cowdenbeath.
Fifer Smith lives a stones throw from the Blue Brazil’s Central Park home, and spent some time at the club as a youngster.
The 22-year-old is keen to get the new season up and running.
“I’m looking forward to it - not many folk will say that about going to Cowdenbeath! It’s the first game of the season and it’s just good to be back playing competitive football.
“The Premier Sports Cup is a good way to start, a good pre-season tournament, and we’re looking to try and do quite well in it.”
A strong end to last season saw Smith topping the club’s scoring charts with 17 goals, and the pacy striker is hoping to get off to a flyer in the season’s curtain-raiser.
“I never really used to think about goals as much, but I think the older I’m getting and the more clinical I’m getting in front of goals, I’m starting to think about that a lot more.
“I’m really enjoying my football.”
A typically impressive performance in last week’s NL Cup match against Stirling Albion saw Smith turn provider as a fine run and pass teed up Adam Frizzell for the opener.
A team largely made up of trialists lifted the cup after Sunday’s win over Cumbernauld Colts, and Smith was pleased with the overall quality on display across the weekend.
“We were looking very good. The gaffer’s got us the way we want to play - we’ve been passing the ball about and it’s been really enjoyable.
“Obviously we’ve done really well and won the cup.”
This weekend’s match marks Rhys McCabe’s first competitive game in charge of the Diamonds, and Callum is enjoying life under the new boss.
“It’s good because all the boys were really close with him last year, and we’ve not changed our views on him.
“It’s really good to have a manager that you’re close friends with. I’ve got nothing bad to say about it, it’s been all positives!”
Rhys himself is looking for a good performance, but admits his side may have to change their game on the Central Park pitch.
“Ideally you want to get off to a good start and try to go as far as possible. It’s a competitive competition - one that we’d like to do well in.
“We know what we’ll be up against - it might not be the game for pretty football, but we’ve got to show that as a squad and as a team we can adapt to certain situations where it’s not always going to go our way.”
Four players could make their competitive debuts for Airdrie, with Josh Rae, Cammy Ballantyne, Euan Deveney and Dean McMaster all hoping for a first Diamonds appearance.
Lloyd Wilson referees the Central Park clash.
Saturday July 9, 2022
Central Park, Cowdenbeath
Brian Christie, Abbie Hendry