Stirling Albion turn the page and launch manager hunt as former boss pays tribute to Binos fans

Darren Young left Albion following relegation
Darren Young left Albion following relegation -Credit:SNS Group

Former Stirling Albion boss Darren Young has admitted news of his axing came as a shock as the club begins its search for a new man at the helm.

The Binos hierarchy revealed their advert for the position earlier this week, with the club putting a deadline of May 24 for anyone interested in applying for the vacant position.

Dismissed Young – who claimed League Two title glory a little over 12 months ago – spoke to the Observer on Friday after news of his time at the club ending was confirmed on Monday.

Young said: "You always know these things can happen, although I didn't expect it with the record I have as a manager in League Two.

"Our stats guy said we were third in the division for chances created so we were always along the right lines - it would have been more worrying if we weren't creating a thing.

"The reaction from the fans to myself and the players was always good and they will have seen the hard work and effort of the players.

"It's up to the club if they think it is time for a new direction, I've been in the game long enough to understand it and that's just the other side of football; if you go down, then you suffer the consequences.

"The support was outstanding and I have had so many messages on social media from people wishing me the best so hopefully that shows how much they've enjoyed the time we've had at the club.

"I would have liked to continue and it was a shock, but I'm big and ugly enough to accept it and learn from it - and I'd like to say how much I loved and enjoyed my time."

In an update on the club website posted on Friday, the Albion board said a "new direction" was required to help steer the club to an aim of promotion back to the third tier.

The statement read: "Relegation is a devastating blow and, like all fans, has hit the three of us hard personally.

"The single objective on the pitch for this season was to stay in League 1 and, despite looking like we would do so for most of the season, we failed to achieve this.

It is set to be a busy summer of activity at Forthbank
It is set to be a busy summer of activity at Forthbank -Credit:SNS Group

The board supported the manager in everything he wanted, including making more money available for players. But unfortunately football can be a game of very small margins – with the odd goal chance converted we would still be in League 1 – and despite Darren’s best efforts, it was not to be.

There were undeniable highlights – the performances getting through the Viaplay Cup group to a closely fought match against Aberdeen being examples – but relegation casts a long shadow and it will always remain a season of immense disappointment.

"Ultimately the team failed in its objective and the board felt a new direction was required to take the club forward from here.

We now need to move on and create a robust plan to get promoted again, the first part of which will be finding a new manager, the search for which is already underway.

"We will update further on that process, and the criteria we have for a new manager, next week."

Stirling were relegated back to the fourth tier after last weekend’s goalless second leg with Dumbarton saw the Sons progress to the League One play-off final against Spartans.

The final line-up for Stirling to face in their League Two campaign next season will be finalised this weekend.

The loser of the Dumbarton/Spartans contest and the winner of the pyramid playoff match between East Kilbride and Stranraer will take the final two spots in the division.

It will then be a tight turnaround for the new Binos boss to pull together a squad ahead of the start of the Premier Sports Cup group stages kicking off on the weekend of July 13/14 and the season curtain raiser on August 3.