Hectic first week for new Raith gaffer Gary

Raith Rovers manager Gary Locke. Pic: Steven Brown
Raith Rovers manager Gary Locke. Pic: Steven Brown
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New Raith Rovers manager Gary Locke has reflected on a hectic first week in the job.

Locke has been helping to deliver the SFA ‘A’ Licence course in St Andrews this week but was also at Stark’s Park yesterday (Wednesday) to secure the signing of Darren Jackson as his assistant manager.

The new gaffer has also been speaking to players and with 15 already signed, he expects to add a few more to the line-up before meeting the team for the first time on June 20 when pre-season training begins at Michael Woods Sports Centre in Glenrothes.

“It’s been a hectic time but I’m glad to be back involved,” he said.

“Now that I’ve got an assistant in place we can sit and look at the squad, which is very healthy at the minute.

“We’re trying to get plans made for next season and hopefully add one or two faces to the squad as well.”

With Locke expected to work under the same financial constraints as his Stark’s Park predecessors, he expects to use the loan market to bolster his squad.

“There’s room to add a few more players but we’re working to a budget,” he said.

“The club has been superbly run for the last eight or nine years, so I won’t be coming in and spending money we’ve not got.

“There’s the nucleus of a really good squad, but hopefully, with our contacts in the game, we can get a couple of diamonds on loan, and with the money we’ve got, strengthen the areas we feel need strengthened.”

Locke is also speaking to first team regulars from last season - Rory McKeown and Aidan Connolly among them - who are out of contract but have yet to re-sign.

“There’s maybe three from last year that we’d be keen to keep, but some of them might not want to stay, which in unfortunate,” he said.

“So it’s important we have people in place ready to replace them if they do decide to go.”

Locke’s first competitive match as Raith manager will be in the revamped League Cup group section on Saturday, July 16.

“We’re getting pre-season plans in place ready for the players returning on June 20,” Locke added.

“We’ll be hoping to hit the ground running and start the season like we finished the last one.”