Yesterday the official Ross County F.C. Twitter feed confirmed that Derek Adams’ former assistant coach (and former County legend) Steve Ferguson will be the new Head of Youth and Community Development. This has been more or less “known” since a few days after Adams’ departure, but I suspect the “confirmation” came after new manager Jim McIntyre had a chance to have a sit down with Ferguson, pronounced himself pleased to work with Ferguson going forward, and the club issued the confirmation. So, that’s great and all, but it was the follow-up tweet that brought smiles to the faces of Staggies far and wide:
As you may remember Kettlewell, who had been with the club since the 2009-2010 season, was somewhat unceremoniously released by the club in August. Though out of contract with the club Kettlewell had been doing rehabilitation work at Victoria Park as he attempted to come back from a hip injury that hobbled him for much of last season. Given that Kettlewell was rather unanimously viewed as the heart and soul of the club- a lunch pail kind of player who did all the dirty work so his (frankly) more gifted teammates didn’t have to and never complained about it. To say he was a “good servant” to the club was an understatement.
Thus, when it seemed he had been rather callously cast aside- while still injured no less!- by a club that owed a great deal of its success in recent years to his hard work and leadership it was clear that something was amiss at Victoria Park. This was the “community club,” the club that took care of its own, the club that did things “the right way,” going wrong. I think it speaks volumes that Roy McGregor (and you better believe that’s whose hand is behind this move) brought back Kettlewell at the first opportunity after hiring Jim McIntyre.
Whether Kettlewell will pull on a Ross County jersey at some point in the future is a question for another day. The “takeaway” from today is that it is becoming more and more clear that Roy McGregor realized that the club was drifting away from the things that had made it so successful over the past two decades and that he is working rapidly to get the club back on course. The Adamses are gone, Midge Gardyne is back, Stuart Kettlewell is back, and you better believe he’s got one eye on Fir Park in Motherwell just in case Paul Lawson or Iain Vigurs status changes…