Our club has its smile back

Mr Stevenson, left, celebrates East Fife's title win.
Mr Stevenson, left, celebrates East Fife's title win.
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East Fife FC hasn’t always been the happiest place in the world but chairman Jim Stevenson reckons those dark clouds have been lifted.

Previous managers, and even current boss Gary Naysmith, have spoken about disharmony behind the scenes at Bayview in their time at the club.

Various factors, including poor results, relegation and financial pressures have all added to that.

It’s not been a great few years on and off the park at Bayview.

But now, according to Mr Stevenson, everybody at the club is pulling in the same direction once again.

The Fifers are sailing the crest of a wave following their convincing promotion to League One.

There’s no secret behind the success, said the Fife chief.

“I always sound like a broken record because I say it all the time, but there’s no I in team,” said Mr Stevenson.

“The players have been fantastic on the park but there are so many people behind the scenes who have helped lift us.

“It’s all down to team work.”

“This is a family club, with a family atmosphere, and it’s something that we have back again.”

The Methil men were, in the end, convincing winners of League Two, wrapping up the title with three games left to spare.

Boss Gary Naysmith, linked with the Queen of the South job before signing an extension to his contract at Bayview, has become one of the hottest managerial properties in Scotland.

And he came in for praise from Mr Stevenson who said East Fife will head into their League One campaign with nothing to fear next term.

Before last season had even ended, the club announced the signing of several key players including Kevin Smith, Jonathan Page and Scott Mercer.

Others have also signed on, meaning there will be no massive rebuilding job for Naysmith this pre-season.

Part of the reason why the club finished its business so early was down to UEFA rules banning trialists playing in the League Cup which this season starts in July.

Mr Stevenson said: “We spoke about it and decided to get it (the resignings) all done early. It was deliberate because we want to be prepared.

“We have players signed and have our pre-season schedule arranged.”

The Fifers have only been out of League One a couple of seasons.

Mr Stevenson says the club knows what to expect.

“Next season will be difficult for us, there’s no doubt about that, but I don’t see any reason why we can’t have a good go at it,” he said.

“Gary (Naysmith) and the management team are really hard workers. He’s still learning the job and is learning more every day.

“We’ve lost some players, including guys like Nathan Austin, but those who are here have a real togetherness about them.”