After admitting that he is delighted to have signed with Berwick Rangers for another season, Kevin Walker has declared his belief that the ‘Gers fresh, more aggressive style will help to bring success to Shielfield Park next season.
“The manager’s style really suits us. A lot of the boys have already alluded to that in the past. By adopting a more aggressive system, we’ve been far more successful on the park and that is reflected in the results we’ve enjoyed.
“It looks like it could be an extremely competitive league next season with the likes of Forfar Athletic and Cowdenbeath coming down with the regular challengers also involved, but I really think we can compete.
“Whilst we all said similar last year, things are a little different this time around in that there should be less of a turnover of players. We’ll lose a couple, but I really believe the club are pushing in the right direction and the continuity in the squad could help us kick on early and achieve something.”
The stopper reserved further praise for his manager John Coughlin, as he professed: “I like the way the gaffer works. He’s hard on us when he needs to be and gives us praise when we deserve it. He always looks to get more out of us as individuals and as a team, and that creates a positive environment to work in.
“His character is infectious. Even after we confirmed our safety he was at us to make sure our standards didn’t drop. Other than the first half in Montrose and the East Stirlingshire away match, I thought we achieved that.”
And whilst the 24 year-old revealed he believes the ‘Gers could enjoy success as a team on the pitch next season, he does admit that he’s got personal targets too.
“On a personal note, I want to be playing every week to continue developing as a goalkeeper. For me it’s about playing games and ensuring regardless of what happens in front of me, I keep my standards high.
“Anyone that knows me will know I’m my own worst critic. I know when I’ve had a good game and I know when I’ve not – but for me it all forms a learning curve. I have my ambitions to play at a higher level but that’s something that I have to earn. If I can secure my place in the team and play another 30-40 games, it could put me in a good place to do that.
“I’ve loved the opportunity to play as much as I have here. I played only 9 times for Livingston over 2 years, so to get a consistent run of games makes a huge difference.”
And with Walker looking to continue the form that earned him plaudits during the ‘Gers impressive end-of-season run, he finishes by commending the contribution of his outfield teammates.
“The clean sheet record towards the end of last season is really something to be proud of, and I am. ‘Keepers are judged on clean sheets so to keep as many I have in the last few months was something to really be proud of – it gives you confidence and helps you to enjoy it.
“But I do also have to give massive credit to the lads in front of me, who were different class during that run.”