RAITH Rovers defender Laurie Ellis will take on an extra coaching role at the club next season.
The defender, who is to be honoured with a testimonial against Hearts next month, will assist Craig Ireland in running the under 19 team, which will compete in the Reserve League East next season.
Ellis (pictured), currently recovering from a broken jaw suffered in the 3-2 win over Falkirk near the end of last season, is looking forward to the challenge.
“I’ll be giving Craig an extra pair of hands with the reserve team, and I’m looking forward to learning from him,” Ellis said.
“Basically I’ll just be his grafter, doing the warm-ups and all the dirty work that will allow him to concentrate on the football.”
The new role will allow Ellis to put into practice some of the new skills he has developed attending recent coaching courses at Largs.
Over the past 18 months, both Ellis and team mate Grant Murray have been working towards attaining their UEFA coaching badges.
“In the past, when you finished playing, anyone could consider coaching as a way to stay in the game,” he said.
“But things have changed and it’s far more difficult to stay in the game at a good level and be a coach.
“You’ve really got to work hard at it and be ready for it.
“Myself and Grant have, over last two years, worked through a couple of UEFA badges to dip our toe into it.
“We both love the game and feel we’ve got loads to offer young players.
“We spoke to the manager and he encouraged us to do our badges early and start working on them while playing.”
Raith manager John McGlynn expects Ellis to feature in some reserve games.
He said: “Laurie still has plenty to offer the first team and will be given every opportunity to do that, but we also see him having a role on the pitch with the reserves – talking to players, giving advice and leading by example.”