New Saints boss is raring to go

Saints boss Ian Barrett
Saints boss Ian Barrett

New St Andrews United manager Ian Barrett says being asked to take over at the club presents a “massive opportunity”.

Barrett is known in Fife footballing circles for his success with amateur sides including Leven United and Greig Park Rangers.

He’s also tasted life in the seniors, being involved with Arbroath, East Fife and Forfar as a physio.

But it was what he achieved while in charge at Leven and Greig Park which persuaded the St Andrews United committee he was the man to replace Phil
McGuire.

Barrett led both clubs to Kingdom Caledonian League titles.

Both league wins came, crucially in the minds of the committee, with a nucleus of young players.

Blooding youngsters through into the junior ranks at Barnetts Park is a route Saints want to go down, and consider their new man perfectly placed to do that.

“This is a massive opportunity and a chance to test myself at a good level,” said Barrett.

“My focus has always been on youth and bringing young players on and that’s what I want to do at St Andrews.

“I put the youths in with Leven United and we won the Kingdom League at the first time of asking.

“I persuaded Greig Park Rangers to join the Kingdom League and we won that last year again with a lot of young players.”

McGuire left Barnetts Park last week after a decision was made by the United committee to change direction.

The former Aberdeen and Dunfermline centre half was a popular man at Barnetts Park and off it some Saints fans took to social media to vent their frustration at the decision.

But that has nothing to do with the new boss, who wants to focus on the task at hand.

He added: “I know a few of the boys will be disappointed that Phil has left in the manner he did.

“But I also know they are professional enough to get on with things.

“And as far as I’m concerned, everyone at the club is starting with a clean slate.”

Barrett will take the reigns for the first time on Saturday - and the task couldn’t be much tougher.

Saints make the trip to face current Super League champions Kelty Hearts.

“It’s a baptism of fire,” said the United boss.

“But they’re beat able - every team is beat able.

“It’s all about how we go about our business and the boys have to put this last week behind them.

“We want to stay in the league this season but I’m only looking ahead.

“When I spoke with the committee they asked if I felt any pressure.

“I told them they were speaking to the wrong man because as far as I’m concerned there are 48 points up for grabs and I’ll be going into every game looking to win it.”