Tayport began pre-season training last night in preparation for the 2011-12 campaign which kicks off with sectional ties in the DJ Laing League Cup from Saturday, August 3.
Manager John McGlashan will be looking forward to his first full season in charge, with his appointment in late April not giving him enough time to stave off relegation from the East Super League.
Under Willie Garner, ‘Port endured a dreadful sequence of results following an enforced winter shutdown.
Before the snow fell in late November, there seemed little hint of the disaster that was to follow.
The season had actually begun in positive fashion. Tayport made it through to the final of the DJ Laing League Cup, eventually losing to Forfar West End in a penalty shoot-out after the two promoted teams had shared four goals at Laing Park.
Both West End and ‘Port appeared to be acquitting themselves well in the top flight, with the Canniepairt outfit having recorded impressive wins at Hill o’Beath and Kelty.
Any defeats were narrow and, as winter approached, ‘Port hit the goal trail, scoring nine at Harthill in the Scottish Junior Cup, four at Haddington in the East of Scotland Cup and another four at home to Kelty in the Super League.
Great efforts were made to keep the players fit over the course of the next 10 weeks without a game.
When Tayport did return to action, there were two consecutive goalless draws against Petershill, in the ‘Scottish’.
The penalty shoot-out defeat must have had an effect on morale, as ‘Port remained winless until the end of April.
A couple of league draws against Bathgate were the only crumbs of comfort as the team plummeted towards the foot of the table.
In late April, the club was in a position to accept Garner’s resignation and John McGlashan, assisted by former ‘Port player, Paul Reilly, was handed the managerial reins.
After drawing at Forfar, there was a much-needed victory at fellow strugglers, Newtongrange Star, although defeat to Scottish Junior Cup finalists, Musselburgh, effectively sealed Tayport’s fate.
A terrific 3-2 win at title-chasing Linlithgow provided some hope, but a final day loss against champions Bo’ness saw Tayport go down.
McGlashan has been busy constructing his squad for the coming season, recruiting a couple of young players in Jamie Mackie and Fraser Milligan from Raith Rovers and Montrose respectively.
The vastly experienced Paul Tosh, who has had a lengthy career in the senior game, has also been brought in.
More signings will follow and some of the current pool will move on, but what is certain is that McGlashan and Reilly will have ‘Port well-prepared for the bid to gain immediate promotion back to the Super League.
Tayport’s pre-season friendly schedule:
Saturday, July 16 - East Stirling (h), kick-off 2pm; Tuesday, July 19 - Arbroath Vics (Ogilvy Park, Arbroath), kick-off 7pm; Saturday, July 23 - Montrose XI (h), kick-off 2pm; Tuesday, July 26 - Strathmiglo (a), kick-off 7pm; Saturday, July 30 - Kinnoull (h), kick-off 2pm.