The Press and Journal (Inverness, Highlands, and Islands)

Fond farewell for Falkirk’s Smith against Saints

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Falkirk tech­ni­cal di­rec­tor Alex Smith ad­mits it will be emo­tional as he pre­pares to say farewell to se­nior foot­ball fol­low­ing a 60-year in­volve­ment in the game.

The 78-year-old will of­fi­cially re­tire af­ter to­mor­row’s fi­nal Cham­pi­onship game of the sea­son at home to St Mir­ren, the team he led to Scot­tish Cup glory in 1987 be­fore em­i­grat­ing to Aus­trali­aw­ith­wifeJan­ice.

Press and Journal columnist Smith be­gan a mod­est play­ing ca­reer with Kil­marnock in 1958 but made his name in man­age­ment, notably with the Bud­dies and Aberdeen, whom he led to three top-flight run­ners-up places and Scot­tish and League Cup suc­cess.

The Bairns are plan­ning a day of cel­e­bra­tion to mark Smith’s de­par­ture and for­mer Dons pair Theo Snelders and Jim Bett are among spe­cial guests for the re­spected coach’s fi­nal game.

St Mir­ren sup­port­ers will head to the Falkirk sta­dium in good spir­its hav­ing seen their team clinch the league title and Smith con­cedes he will strug­gle not to be over­whelmed by the oc­ca­sion.

Smith, who has been in his cur­rent role since 2009, said: “It’s bril­liant St Mir­ren are the vis­i­tors on Satur­day, it’s quite a co­in­ci­dence and it’s quite im­por­tant for me that some­thing like this has hap­pened.

“I had great days at St Mir­ren, great for my­self and my man­age­ment team.

“There are a lot of exSt Mir­ren play­ers com­ing, there will be the Falkirk boys and peo­ple who worked with me at Sten­house­muir and Stir­ling Al­bion. Theo Snelders is trav­el­ling from Hol­land, Jim Bett is com­ing from Ice­land – they are the rep­re­sen­ta­tives from Aberdeen and it’s a nice wee touch.”

 ??  ?? Alex Smith: Emo­tions will be run­ning high
Alex Smith: Emo­tions will be run­ning high

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