Boss ready and raring to get season kicked off

Gary Naysmith
Gary Naysmith
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Bayview boss Gary Naysmith says he’s feeling refreshed and can’t wait to get his teeth into East Fife’s pre-season campaign.

The dust has now settled on the Fifers’ disappointing 2013/14 league efforts and the Methil players will return to pre-season training this week.

The first friendly will take place at Gala Fairydean’s Netherdale ground on Friday, June 27.

The Fifers will be quickly back in action when they face Preston Athletic the following Tuesday.

Preparations continue when East Fife welcome English Championship side Fulham on July 5 before then playing Scottish Cup holders St Johnstone on July 9 and Hearts on July 12.

For the Bayview boss, the games can’t come around quickly enough.

Speaking to the Mail on Monday, he said: “The players have had long enough now and I can’t wait to get them in and going again.

“The first two pre-season games have really been built in around our training schedule.

“The lads will be back training on a Monday, Thursday and Saturday and then playing the game.

“I expect the players to be going into the games tired but it’s really all about their fitness.

“There’s also a financial aspect to games like Hearts who may bring 1000 fans.”

Following East Fife’s relegation to League Two at the end of last season, the manager raised fears that some of the players he had already spoken to about moving to Bayview may have cold feet about playing in the nation’s bottom division.

Thankfully, though, he’s found that not to be the case.

Naysmith said: “I’m delighted that the players we spoke to have been prepared to drop down a division.

“I’m still looking at bringing in another three or four and also some trialists for pre-season.

“It’s really been across Scotland we’ve been looking and also at players who impressed us last season.

“When we played Airdrie Caolan McAleer tore us apart.

“But I was shocked to see how many players Willie (Aitchison, former manager) and I used last season so we’ll be going with a smaller squad.

“If we get injuries and suspensions then the younger boys like David Maskrey, Daryl Falconer and Dylan Honeyman will be given their chance.”

Naysmith’s assistant Paul Hegarty was amongst the personnel to leave Bayview when the season ended.

The manager has confirmed to the Mail that no coaching replacement will be brought in.

“With the small squad that we’ll have I don’t think we need that extra staff member.

“We’ll have Dougie Anderson and myself still here and I have also brought in Alec Connon as a goalkeeping coach from East Stirlingshire.”