Darren Young (picture by George McLuskie).
Darren Young (picture by George McLuskie).

New East Fife boss Darren Young continues to be heartend and encouraged by the mood around Bayview as the new campaign moves closer.

The squad has a few pre-season matches in the diary before the start of mid-July business in the BetFred Cup, while Young is still hoping to strengthen the squad in a few areas

He said he has been very pleased with the way training has progressed so far and the pre-season period had been very enjoyable.

“It’s going well – they’re a good bunch of boys,” he said.

“Training is going really well, they are still working hard, and we are still looking to get some new players through the door – three or four guys anyway. It’s a bit frustrating because I came in the pre-season – or post-season, if you like – and am trying to play a bit of catch-up with a lot of players signed up elsewhere, but we are still working on it.”

The ex-Albion Rovers boss said he had a few options in mind, including some players coming on trial, some coming along to use the training facilities, and chatting to others who possibly had their sights on full-time football.

“You can understand their position, however – if they don’t need to go part-time, they don’t want to go part-time,” said Young.

“For us, it’s getting a bit late in the day, but there are still good players out there and there is good quality. It’s about getting the right player for the right price.”

Young said the Fifers were fairly well served in central midfield but still short of defenders, while he was also looking for a wide attacking player.

With construction work continuing on the new Bayview surface, East Fife were due to play St Mirren in a closed-door friendly last night (Tuesday), followed by a visit to Spartans from the Lowland League on July 4, then another closed-door encounter away to Stirling Albion on July 8.

Young hoped all the games would allow himself and assistant Tony McMinn to assess players, as well as boosting match fitness and allow any trialists to show how they could perform in a game situation – although it was a “balancing act” with so many possible new players considering such a wide range of options in the meantime.

Regarding the BetFred Cup, Young said on one hand, the side wanted to get off to the best possible start – but the main drawback with the tournament was the fact no trialists were allowed.

This wasn’t a problem for full-time teams, he said, but it was a strain for part-time squads on a restricted ed budget, who were trying to assess their personnel and needed to see potential players in action before they signed them.

The quick flurry of games in midweek and on Saturdays meant there was very limited time in which to see trialists.

Nevertheless, Young added: “There is a good mood at training and a good wee buzz about the place. The boys seem to be enoying it, and I am enjoying it.”

See page 39 for a full list to date of East Fife’s league fixtures in 2017-18.

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