Hunt for new boss begins

Club skipper Kevin Smith is being kept up to date on the boards search for a new boss.
Club skipper Kevin Smith is being kept up to date on the boards search for a new boss.

Jim Stevenson is getting used to sifting through applications to take up the manager’s position at Bayview.

The East Fife chairman again finds himself in that role after Barry Smith departed for Raith at the start of the week.

Smith had only been at the club a few months after replacing Gary Naysmith in December.

There’s little doubt he had a positive impact while at Bayview, helping to side to go on a run of form which saw them finish just outside the promotion play-off zone.

Had results gone the side’s way on the last game of the season, the Fifers may have hit the Championship.

Instead Smith has departed Methil to take up the reigns at the fierce rivals of the Bayview club.

And for Mr Stevenson it’s back to the drawing board as he aims to get a new man in place before the side returns to pre-season training.

He said: “Barry is leaving us to take up the manager’s job at Raith Rovers.

“It all happened pretty quickly over the weekend when we got the call that they’d like to speak to him.

“The deal we have, which is pretty common, is that if a full-time team comes in then we allow it.

“It’s disappointing but we’re a small club and if your manager does well then others are going to look at him.

“The board met on Monday night and we’ve already started speaking about people.

“We still have the applications from the last time so know who’s out there and who could be the right fit for us.”

What’s clear is that the current board at Bayview does have an eye for a manager.

Former Scotland international Naysmith was handed the role while on the playing staff at the club.

Despite a couple of sticky patches the board stood by him and it paid off - Naysmith leading the side to the League Two title.

He departed for full-time football with Queen of the South with Smith the man recommended to take over.

And again the club has found itself the victim of its own success, with Smith’s run towards the play-offs seeing him plucked by another full-time club, this time League One’s Raith.

But for the chairman, there’s no particular model he’s looking for this time.

“We want an ambitious manager but I’m quite open to all sorts of applications,” he said.

“If you look at someone like Dick Campbell, who I’m not saying has applied, he’s a great manager with a lot of promotions.

“It just needs to be someone who fits East Fife and the dressing room we have because it’s a terrific dressing room.”

Mr Stevenson added that the players are being kept right up to date with what’s going on.

“I’ve already spoken to Kevin Smith (club captain) three times,” he said.

“He’s the team captain and it’s important the players know what’s going on.

“All of the players know they can pick up to phone to me, that’s what it’s like at East Fife.”

Mr Stevenson added that, despite online claims, those players who have agreed terms with the Fifers will be at the club next season.