Former Greens trio prepare for Mansfield return with Biggar

Biggar coach Derek Armstrong
Biggar coach Derek Armstrong
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IT WAS only a year ago yesterday that Derek Armstrong, pictured, resigned as Greens boss after four straight defeats.

This afternoon, he will return to Mansfield Park for the first time since with his Biggar side on National League duty.

“It’s strange, and I’m not really looking forward to it,” Armstrong told the Hawick News. “It’s going to feel funny.

“I did what I could do at Hawick. In hindsight, maybe it was too big a club for me. I feel more in my depth at Biggar. Not to say Hawick’s a bigger club, but they have a long history.”

In his playing days, Armstrong turned out for both the clubs that will line up at Mansfield tomorrow afternoon. He has faced the Greens previously, during sevens tournaments while with Biggar, but never before as a coach.

“I’ll be confident in our boys,” he said of the team he took over in November last year. “But, we know what it’s going to be like, and Hawick have talented players with a point to prove.”

Armstrong will include Rory Sutherland in his squad after the former Greens youngster starred in a 22-21 home win over Stewart’s Melville last weekend.

However, Biggar will be without a number of players – including suspended former Hawick skipper Bruce McNeil. McNeil left Mansfield for Biggar earlier this summer, and will lead his side’s forwards in the pre-match warm-up. He is looking forward to meeting some familiar faces.

“I think the Hawick boys understand that sometimes you need to freshen things up,” said McNeil. “I definitely feel revitalised, but sometimes listening to Deeky [Armstrong] for an hour on the way up the road and the way back can be draining!”