WE’lL BE READY for new seaSON

Grant Murray and Laurie Ellis
Grant Murray and Laurie Ellis

NEW Raith Rovers boss Grant Murray is hoping to add to his playing squad before the start of the season.

But he says it’s too early to start setting targets ahead of the new campaign.

Murray signed a two-year contract this week to become the club’s player-manager, and he’s been joined on the managerial staff by long-serving Laurie Ellis, who has been appointed first team coach, also on a two-year deal.

They are already putting in long hours to ensure the club is ready for the challenges ahead, starting with a pre-season friendly against Ross County on Tuesday night, but more importantly, the Ramsden Cup tie at Wick at the end of the month and the First Division campaign.

Murray said: “We are looking to try to bring in one or two players, but obviously at this stage that discussion hasn’t taken place with the board yet.

“The quickness of the last week, with John (McGlynn) departing and Paul (Smith) on holiday, has meant there’s been a lot of work for myself and Laurie, and all the backroom staff.

“But everyone has pulled together. There has been 100 per cent effort from everyone here.”

Murray, who is recovering from a cartilage operation in the summer, says setting targets for the season will come once he’s had a chance to settle in.

Plan ahead

“We have to get our feet flat on the ground,” he said.

“Once we get all the staff back together, we can sit down and discuss what we are aiming for.

“We’ve got some great friendlies coming up, and it’s important we are ready for the first competitive game away to Wick in the cup at the end of the month.

‘‘That’s the one game we are concentrating on at this moment in time.”

Murray also hopes the fans will get right behind him and his team, adding, “From day one the fans have been magnificent to me and hopefully that will continue. We want to put a team on the park that they are happy with and hopefully they’ll flood through the gates in their numbers and give us as much support as they can.”

Raith’s vice chairman Turnbull Hutton said while the club was disappointed to lose McGlynn to Hearts, there was a “ready-made succession plan in place”.

He said, “Encouraged by John, both Grant and Laurie have taken their coaching qualifications while continuing with their playing careers and, along with their knowledge of all the retained players, this made them both ideal candidates to take the step up.

Model professionals

“Additionally, the fact they are both model professionals in their own right will mean they will have no difficulty in commanding the respect of the dressing room.

“Completing the management team is Paul Smith who has been, and will continue to be, a vital cog in the wheel, even more so now given that both Grant and Laurie could well be on the pitch.”

The club expects to make a further announcement in the near future regarding the ongoing management of the youth academy which the board says will remain an important component of football operations.