New Raith boss ‘one of hardest workers in Scottish football’

Raith Rovers chairman Alan Young -  credit - FPA -
Raith Rovers chairman Alan Young - credit - FPA -

Raith Rovers chairman Alan Young is confident the club has got the best man for the job after the appointment of Barry Smith.

The Raith board took over two weeks to pick their replacement for John Hughes, but after a thorough interview process, and glowing references from respected figures in Scottish football, Smith emerged as the number one choice to pick up the pieces from a season that saw the club relegated from the Scottish Championship.

“The best quote I had from anybody we spoke to was that you’ll not find a harder worker in Scottish football – and that’s what we need,” said chairman Young.

“The number of young players that he’s brought through is excellent – he’s renowned for that – and we’ve got a number of young players showing enormous potential here.

“He knows his way around Scottish football, he has good contacts, and already we’ve spoken about the possibility of players coming in, and there’s one or two things there that excite me.

“Hopefully these will come to fruition.”

Smith’s managerial CV makes for mixed reading with his superb achievements in Dundee, particularly in his first season which included a club record 23-game unbeaten run in the face of a 25-point deduction from entering administration, tempered by difficult spells in charge of Alloa and Aldershot.

His overall win rate as a boss is 34 per cent, however, Young urged supporters to look beyond the stats when forming an opinion of their new leader.

“He’s certainly been there and done it,” Young said.

“His stats at Dundee weren’t too great in the end because they suddenly found themselves in the Premiership (after Rangers demotion) having been second in the Championship.

“They won three games out of 22 and that knocked his stats to hell so you need to take that into account.

“We’ve now got to start looking forward to next season. We’ve got a new manager in place, who has fabulous plans as far as the first team squad is concerned, and we need to be positive and enthusastic about coming back to Stark’s Park and watching football here.

“We need to see not just the players get confidence, but the backroom staff, and the fans to know that we’ve got a team here that’s going to put on a performance.

“For the last how long there’s always been a concern of ‘what’s going to happen now?’.

“Hopefully we can see positivity and enthusiasm coming through, and confidence coming back into this club.”