Ray continues his Rovers rebuild

Raith Rovers manager Ray McKinnon received the keys to his new club car this week, sponsored by Fife Hyundai, part of the Walker Motor Group. Branch manager Stuart McPhail is pictured handing over the keys. Pic: Tony Fimister
Raith Rovers manager Ray McKinnon received the keys to his new club car this week, sponsored by Fife Hyundai, part of the Walker Motor Group. Branch manager Stuart McPhail is pictured handing over the keys. Pic: Tony Fimister

Ray McKinnon’s rebuilding of his Raith Rovers squad gathered pace over the past week with the arrival of a further two new signings.

Former Aberdeen forward Mitch Megginson (22) has joined from Dumbarton while defender Kyle Benedictus (23) has arrived from Dundee, where he has spent the last seven years.

Megginson, who played mostly on the left wing for the Sons, scored 13 goals in two seasons at the Rock, while Benedictus spent last season on loan at Alloa Athletic.

“Mitch is a young lad that I know very well from his time at Aberdeen,” McKinnon said.

“He had a fantastic season at Dumbarton, he’s hungry and he’s at the right age. For me, he ticks all the boxes.

“He plays wide left, so it gives us a good balance on that side of the park, but can also play on the right or through the middle, so he gives us that flexibility.

“Kyle has got great pedigree for a 23-year-old.

“He’s played over 100 games for Dundee and made his debut when he was 16 so he’s got great experience.

“He also done very well at Alloa last season.

“He’s a left-sided centre-half which is a position we identified.

“We’re targeting players that we think the squad is needing.”

McKinnon is also holding talks with Dundee over a possible loan move for highly-rated 17-year-old striker Craig Wighton.

McKinnon revealed he is keen to bring in more fresh faces ahead of pre-season training starting on June 22, adding: “We may have a few trialists in.”

However, the Raith boss is refusing to play a waiting game with out of contract defender Paul Watson.

The 24-year-old centre-back has stalled on a new contract offer that was made before McKinnon’s arrival at the club.

The door is not yet closed on a return for Watson, but the new Raith boss admitted that he is already looking elsewhere.

“An offer was put out to Paul before I came in and he’s not taken us up on that,” McKinnon said.

“We’ll keep the door open, but at the same time we need to make sure Raith Rovers are sorted, so I’ll not be waiting around if there’s business that can be done.

“At the moment we’re trying to bring in a right-sided defender. Craig Barr is struggling with a groin injury at the moment so we’re looking for more cover in defence.

“We’re trying to build a strong squad in every department.”

Raith’s new backroom team is also now in place.

Grant Johnson and Darren Taylor, who were McKinnon at Brechin, have joined Laurie Ellis and goalkeeping coach Wayne Henderson in Raith’s backroom team, with Johnson taking on the role of assistant manager.

Kit man Brian Marr has been told his services are no longer required.

Rovers pre-season schedule has been finalised with plenty fixtures on home turf.

The club will kick-off with a match against Ray McKinnon’s former club Brechin City at Stark’s Park on Saturday, July 4.

This will be followed by the visit of Hearts on Tuesday, July 7, before Europa League hopefuls Aberdeen visit Kirkcaldy on Sunday, July 12.

A fourth successive home friendly will see Paul Hartley’s Dundee provide the opposition on Wednesday, July 15.

The first, and only, away friendly will be a short trip to Methil to face East Fife on Saturday, July 18.

The final warm-up match takes place on Wednesday, July 22, with a Celtic XI arriving to mark naming of Turnbull Hutton Stand.

The away match against Spartans, originally scheduled for July 14, has been postponed until a later date.

Meanwhile, Rovers have snapped up promising full back Sean Mackie, who is the first player to graduate to Raith Rovers from the Fife Elite Football Academy. Pre-season training begins on June 22.