Bairns midfielder James Craigen hoping for second promotion party at Falkirk Stadium after Partick Thistle glory



JAMES CRAIGEN has already celebrated one promotion at the Falkirk Stadium – as a Partick Thistle player.

Now the midfield ace is determined to repeat the feat with the Bairns.

Craigen, 26, was a key part of the Jags side that secured a return to the top-flight in the 2012/13 campaign, even scoring the winning goal in the 1-0 triumph over Morton which effectively cemented their Premiership place.

However, the Maryhill men had to wait another ten days to formally claim the title, getting their hands on the trophy with a 2-0 win at Falkirk.

He recalled: “I’ve been through this before, albeit the pressure was slightly different with Thistle, going for the title rather than aiming to go up through the playoffs.

“Scoring against Morton was probably my best memory from that run. It was basically a title decider at Firhill in front of a massive crowd, towards the end of the season.

“That was a brilliant atmosphere and an amazing experience. You want to be involved in those sort of matches during the run-in, where there is a lot riding on it. I’m just glad it’s fighting at the top, rather than the bottom.

“We actually went on to win the league at Falkirk with Thistle. We beat them 2-0 and had our title party here, so I’ll always have fond memories of that.

“So I’m actually going for my second promotion at the Falkirk Stadium, which would be very nice.”

Craigen was a title winner at Thistle (Pic: Andrew Hendo)

And Craigen is acutely aware of how important finishing in second spot – avoiding an extra tie in the playoffs – is for Falkirk’s promotion bid.

The Bairns currently boast a one-point lead over Dundee United ahead of the visit of Queen of the South on Saturday and their final fixture of the regular Championship campaign away to Dumbarton.

Craigen added: “You want to finish second, playing two fewer matches is massive at this stage of the season. It’s vital in terms of that.

“If we don’t finish second then we will deal with it – we have strength in depth – but we are really pushing for that second place and the advantage of a week’s rest while third and fourth and fighting to progress.”