Naysmith ready for contract talks

Gary Naysmith is looking to stay at Bayview and build a squad for success again next season.
Gary Naysmith is looking to stay at Bayview and build a squad for success again next season.

Gary Naysmith has led East Fife to promotion back to League One and is now keen to sort out his own future with the club.

Several players have already signed on for the new campaign and the Bayview boss is currently in talks with the club to join them.

With promotion confirmed, Naysmith wants to get on with the task of building for the new season in a division higher.

He said: “The chairman has been at me for a few weeks about it (a new contract) but I didn’t want it to take any focus away from the league.

“That’s done now.

“I want to stay here and look at building a team for the play-offs.

“I’m ambitious and want to keep moving forward and want the club to think like that too.”

Over 550 East Fife fans travelled to Broadwood at the weekend to watch a 0-0 draw against Clyde which was enough for the side to clinch the title.

It came as a surprise, the manager said, to hear updates from the touchline about results elsewhere.

“We kicked off a little bit late because Clyde had to get some paperwork finished because of an injury to Scott Durie in the warm up,” said Naysmith.

“So that meant all the other games had finished before ours.

“Dougie Anderson (Fife assistant) told us the other scores and we knew that as long as we weren’t beaten we’d won the league.

“But with 20 minutes to go we were going for the win; that’s why we brought Jamie Insall on.”

One look at the league’s form table shows exactly why the Methil men are the League Two champions.

The side has been on a terrific run while others were shedding points in behind them.

That consistency virtually ensured the starting XI picked itself from one weekend to the next.

However, the manager was swift to praise the contributions of those who haven’t played as much as they’d hoped.

“Guys like Declan O’Kane, Craig Murray and Fraser Mullen were coming into training knowing they wouldn’t be playing on the Saturday,” said the boss.

“But the tempo they trained at and their attitude was top class.

“That says a lot about them.”

But there’s still work to be done, said Naysmith, and with two games left of the season, plenty of goals to be achieved.

“Over the next two weeks I’ll be changing the team and making sure everybody gets on the pitch, either starting or from the bench,” said Naysmith.

“I want to win the next two games and it’ll be a test for the players to see if they can maintain the standards they’ve set.

“I have an opportunity now to try out a few things and look at different formations.

“But Nathan Austin will want to keep playing and become the league’s top scorer.

“Scott Mercer, Kyle Wilkie and Jason Kerr have played every game and want to keep that record as well so I have to be mindful of that.”

One player who won’t be part of Saturday’s trip to face Berwick Rangers is Stevie Campbell who the manager says is struggling with an ankle injury.