Mar 17 2011 By Colin Paterson
Albion Rovers striker John Gemmell.
IRN-BRU THIRD DIVISION:
ALBION ROVERS v CLYDE
JOHN GEMMELL says squad poker tournaments are aiding Albion Rovers' promotion push.
The 26-year-old frontman believes the Cliftonhill dressing-room's gambling sessions have played a key role throughout the Coatbridge outfit's campaign.
Rovers are currently in second place in the SFL3 table and just three points behind leaders Arbroath who have two games in hand.
Paul Martin's men welcome North Lanarkshire rivals Clyde tomorrow for a crucial derby clash after thumping Berwick Rangers 6-1 on Tuesday night.
And Gemmell reckons friendships forged thanks to regular card schools have been the catalyst to Rovers' league success.
He told Advertiser Sport: "I don't think anyone expected a result like the one we had at Berwick. It was a brilliant result and we showed we were the better side.
"We're starting to realise that we have the chance of achieving something this season.
"People aren't satisfied simply turning up and getting paid. We've got a chance of going up and we need to believe.
"We have a great manager who is driving us on and a group of players who want to be successful.
"The main thing for me is that we're all friends. We all speak on the phone and text and play poker tournaments online with each other.
"There is a real togetherness and a great spirit. Stranraer and Arbroath are great teams on great budgets. We're a great team on no budget."
Gemmell reckons Rovers' determination to succeed can keep the title flame burning and ensure a clean sweep of victories over the Bully Wee tomorrow.
He added: "We want to do something special and I think we are capable of that.
"But it's important we don't think too much about things and just go out every Saturday and try to win.
"We don't feel under any pressure. We've won 14 games and probably exceeded expectations.
"Our aim was to get into the play-offs and we're still in there with a good shout."
Clyde have been stuck at the bottom of the table for months and taken just 13 points from a possible 66.
But Gemmell has warned against underestimating Jim Duffy's men as Rovers look for a first home win since Saturday, February 12.
"We need to treat it as if Clyde are top of the league," he said. "We need to come out and get on the front foot as they have great players."
Rovers are missing suspended midfielder Stevie Canning and will check on the fitness of Peter Innes, Chris Boyle and Steven Lawless.
*FANS can visit the IRN-BRU bus at Cliftonhill tomorrow from 1pm.
Tomorrow's referee: Gary Hilland.
Albion Rovers top goalscorer: Robert Love (7).
Clyde top goalscorer: Marc McCusker (12).
Previous meeting: Clyde 0 Albion Rovers 1 (Tuesday, February 22).
Albion Rovers form guide (most recent result first): WWLWDL.
Clyde form guide (most recent result first): LLLWLW.