Rovers prepare for return to action

Raith Rovers training at Michael Woods Sports Centre in Glenrothes. Pic: Steve Brown
Raith Rovers training at Michael Woods Sports Centre in Glenrothes. Pic: Steve Brown
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Raith Rovers players continued to work on their fitness this week as the first pre-season friendly edges closer.

The Kirkcaldy side travel to Meadowbank Stadium next Wednesday to take on Lowland League outfit Edinburgh City, kick-off 7.30 p.m.

With six new signings on board, it will be a somewhat different, if not entirely new-look Raith side that takes to the pitch.

Manager Grant Murray said: “We’ll assess where we are early next week, but we’re hoping to take the majority of the squad to the game.”

It is the first of four warm-up matches with St Johnstone, York City and Inverness Caledonian Thistle all visiting Stark’s Park over the next fortnight.

The first competitive match of the season follows on Saturday, July 26, and will see Rovers begin the defence of their Challenge Cup trophy, now sponsored by Petrofac Training, with a mouth-watering trip to East End Park to face derby rivals Dunfermline Athletic.

“It’s a fantastic draw, and a big game that the players should be looking forward to,” Murray said.

Rovers further strengthened their squad this week by securing winger Grant Anderson for another season.

The 27-year-old will return for a third consecutive season at Stark’s Park having made 68 appearances for the club so far, scoring nine goals.

Anderson had hoped to sign a contract sooner but talks had been held up by holidays.

“It was never in doubt - I just never had the chance to sit down properly with the gaffer,” he said. “It’s great to have it all done and dusted now and I’m looking forward to some really exciting games next season.

“I’ve never played at Tynecastle or Ibrox before so I’m looking forward to that, and drawing Dunfermline in the Challenge Cup gives us another massive game.

“There has been a small turnaround in players, and the standard of guys brought in has been very good.

“Hopefully over the pre-season games we’ll be able to figure out how each other plays and hit the ground running when the competitive games start.”

Murray is satisfied with the squad currently at his disposal and while he still has funds available, he is in no hurry to add further new faces.

He said: “If the right player comes along then we’ll possibly look at bringing another one in, but at this moment in time we’re happy working with what we’ve got.”

Out of contract Morton striker Archie Campbell is currently training with the club, but there have been no signing talks. Murray explained: “He asked if he could do pre-season with us, and we said yes.”

Goalkeeper David McGurn is making good progress during pre-season as he recovers from an achilles injury that kept him out of action since October.

“Davie’s come through his training plan and is now stepping things up,” Murray added.

“That’s good for us and good for Davie.”