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54 of 060 Christian Nade 38 ;Gary Glen 92 SC A

Pressley clocks in at Falkirk with an eye on 'doing a Davie Weir'

By Brian Marjoribanks
One started out at Falkirk and ended up at Rangers. The other’s career began at Ibrox and is winding down at Westfield. In between times, the pair starred together in central defence for Hearts and then Scotland.

When Steven Pressley makes his Falkirk debut at Ibrox tomorrow, he will look across the pitch to David Weir and see an inspirational figure in the battle against the clock.

Having snubbed a move to Inverness following his return from a spell in Denmark, Scotland assistant coach Pressley will pull on a Bairns shirt until at least the end of the season.

The 35-year-old, who also has Celtic, Dundee United and Coventry on his CV, watched on in admiration as Weir, three years his senior at 38, played a pivotal role in helping Walter Smith’s side to last season’s UEFA Cup Final, while picking up two domestic cups.

Last night, he trained his sights upon achieving the same longevity as Weir, who began his career at the heart of Falkirk’s defence, alongside current manager John Hughes, in 1992.

Pressley, who will continue to assist national manager George Burley, is hoping the restorative qualities of Falkirk’s state-of-the-art training facilities at Stirling University can have a similar effect on him.

The defender, capped 32 times for his country, feels mentally ready for a debut at Rangers tomorrow, despite not having played any competitive football for seven weeks.
‘Looking at the facilities available at the university, coming here can only prolong my career,’ he said. ‘I want to play as long as possible. You speak to many people in football and they say you are a long time retired.

‘Although I have aspirations to go into management, and I am doing my pro-licence, that’s some time ahead. I’d love to play for several more years.

‘Without doubt, Falkirk can give me the opportunity to carry on until Davie’s sort of age. But it depends on the individual, their career and whether they’ve been fortunate to avoid any serious injuries that have kept them out for any length of time.

‘There is a possibility to play on to a very old age, in football terms.’

Manager Hughes is certain Pressley can follow in Weir’s footsteps. He said: ‘Steven can go on to play as long as Davie, if he wants to. We did it with Russell (Latapy) — we are renowned for it — so it’s just about the way we look after him.

‘Everyone I have spoken to can’t say enough good things about Steven. He is a leader of men. He can be my first lieutenant.’

Falkirk are also on the verge of completing the signing of former Deportivo La Coruna and Sporting Braga keeper Dani Mallo.

Praising his board for coming up with the cash during the current economic downturn, Hughes said: ‘We thought we would lose out on Steven due to the current financial constraints.

‘But the board came up trumps. I wish to thank them for that and we’ll be making a decision on Mallo, as well.’
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