East Fife chair praises returning players

Kevin Smith is one of a group of Fife players who'll be back at Bayview next season.
Kevin Smith is one of a group of Fife players who'll be back at Bayview next season.
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East Fife chairman Jim Stevenson says the club’s returning players deserve huge credit for pledging their futures to the Methil side.

It was announced this week that a host of last season’s squad had agreed to return for the next campaign, including Kevin Smith, Allan Walker and Fraser Mullen.

But the good business didn’t stop there, with Jonathan Page, who spent most of the season on loan at the club from Dunfermline, agreeing to sign up too.

Page will be joined at Bayview by his former teammate at the Pars, ‘keeper Ryan Goodfellow.

Mr Stevenson told the Mail he was delighted to see so many agree to play with the club next term.

He said: “It’s credit to the manager for the work he’s doing and also the players that so many of them think enough about East Fife to want to come back next season.

“They can see things happening at the club and what we’re trying to do.

“The manager will be working with a reduced budget next season - I’ve never tried to hide that - so it says a lot about the players that they’ve come back.”

The chairman admitted he was disappointed with the club’s failure to return to League One, but highlighted the positive turnaround in results since January.

This was down, in no small part, Mr Stevenson said, thanks to the introduction of Julen Extabeguren, Page, Sean Dickson and Derek Riordan to the side.