Championship may tempt Dale to stay at Brechin

James Dale celebrating his goal
James Dale celebrating his goal

James Dale admits that Brechin’s promotion to the Championship is giving him cause to reconsider his plan to move down south.

Family and work commitments mean that Dale was planning on leaving Brechin over the summer for a move down south, but the promotion has opened the possibility of him staying.

He said: “I was planning on going down the road, I told the manager I wasn’t signing for next year but I think things might change over the summer now.

The Brechin player described it as a “special day for the team” as the victory over Alloa saw them promoted to the Scottish Championship.

He said: “I had a great time out there. The most important thing is getting that for the manager, fans and also the players themselves.”

Dale opened the scoring in the first-half with a spectacular strike from outside the box that curled into the far right corner of the goal.

“To be honest I can’t really remember what happened,” he joked. “I think I curled it and it somehow lobbed the keeper.

“I don’t think I’ve hit a ball that sweet, even in training, so it was very good.”

He added: “I don’t know how we’ve managed to get there, but we’ve beat Raith [Rovers] and Alloa, two big teams, and we’re now in the Championship so it’s brilliant.”

He moved from Forfar to Brechin in 2015, and agrees that the transfer has worked out in his favour. “I’m loving every second. I actually want to thank the manager for that as he is the one that brought me over,” he said. “I’ve kind of set myself in the team and thrived off it.

“I’ve got myself in a good position and playing every week and learning off the people around me.”

The promotion means that Brechin will be facing stiff competition from the likes of Falkirk and Inverness Caley Thistle.

Dale said the challenge is “ideal” and that Brechin have “shown that we can battle [big teams]; we played Falkirk earlier in the season and St Johnstone as well and I thought we handled ourselves very well and obviously beat Raith as well.

“We’re a very competitive team. We work hard and got young legs as well who can handle that league so we’ll embrace it and look forward to it.

“I think the spirit in the team is what got us through it to be honest; the togetherness over the last couple of weeks. Not that we didn’t expect to get here, we were just taking it game-by-game and we ended up where we are by battling away and grinded results out.

“We’ve done it for the manager as well. It’s good that the board have stood by him after everyone wrote us off last year, and this year as well.”