RAITH Rovers return to training on Tuesday ahead of a new football season looking to shake off the disappointment of how the last campaign ended.
Rovers were pipped to promotion by Dunfermline after leading the First Division for most of the year, and have since had to make major cut-backs.
However, manager John McGlynn is eager to get on with the new challenge that awaits and will set his stall out over pre-season to make his team the fittest in the league.
“We’ll stick to our tried and tested format for pre-season training because recent years would suggest there’s nothing wrong with it,” he said.
“It’s never a player’s favourite time of the year but fitness is a massive part of the game, and it’s never been a problem for us. It’s very rare for a team to turn up fitter than us.
“We’ve always had players with a good attitude towards working hard, and look for more of the same this coming season.”
McGlynn’s training regime will differ slightly from previous years in that the players will no longer meet on Thursday nights as there is only one part-time player left on the books, David McGurn.
He explained: “We could have brought in more part-time bodies, but you get better value for money with a full-time player.
“The advantage of having a full squad you can control on a day-to-day basis outweighs any benefits of having an extra player on a part-time basis. We will train one evening a week on Tuesdays, and the rest of the training will be done during the day.”
Rovers first team squad will include new signings Brian Graham and Joe Hamill, along with six under 19s. McGlynn is also hopeful of tying up two loan signings from SPL clubs in time for Tuesday’s first training session.
“It still needs to be confirmed whether that will happen or not,” he said. “It’s best to get everyone in for the start. That’s when you put in the ground rules and there will be nobody playing catch-up.”
McGlynn is also looking forward to welcoming back John Baird with the striker’s hoped-for move to the SPL, so far, failing to materialise.
He added: “Like every one of us, John would love to play in the SPL but the only way to do that is by being successful. Hopefully we’ll all get that chance.”
McGlynn also confirmed that Rovers will be withdrawing from the Reserve League East next season. “We just don’t have the players,” he explained.