Boss starts his preparations for new league season

The Fife players celebrate after taking the lead against Ayr at the weekend. Picture by Kenny Mackay.
The Fife players celebrate after taking the lead against Ayr at the weekend. Picture by Kenny Mackay.

With East Fife’s League One campaign effectively over, boss Darren Young is using the final few weeks of the season to get a head start on next year.

The Fifers still have four League One fixtures to fulfil this season but, with the side well clear of second bottom and with no chance of making fourth, there’s little to play for in terms of the league.

But Young has reminded his players there’s still plenty at stake for them as individuals, whether at Bayview or elsewhere.

And if there’s one positive to come out of the side’s campaign ending earlier than the club would have wanted, it’s that the manager can start to plan early for the 2018-19 season.

It’s a better position for Young to be in after he took over the club last year, with barely a week to go until pre-season started and contracts had been agreed.

Young said: “I’ve said before that the players are all fighting for contracts in the last few weeks.

“I’ll be having a sit down with the chairman soon and planning ahead for next season.

“There are some I want to keep at the club and others we’ve not made a decision on yet, so there’s a lot to play for for those guys.”

It’s likely those the manager is still debating with himself about on whether to retain or not for next season will get a chance to impress in the final few weeks of this term’s campaign.

That starts this weekend with a trip to the national stadium to meet a Queen’s Park side which has taken maximum points over the Fifers this season.

Despite this, Gus MacPherson’s side currently props up the division on goal difference behind Albion Rovers, so will be all out on their home patch to ensure a massive three points for themselves.

East Fife, though, are keen The Spiders aren’t allowed to make it a clean sweep at the weekend.

“We want to go to Queen’s Park on Saturday and get the win,” said Young.

“They’re down the bottom fighting for their lives, so we need to stand up to that.

“We might chop and change the side a bit for the Queen’s Park game and mix things up.

“But I’m sure if we get the same levels of performance we did in the past two games against Raith Rovers and Ayr United, then we should win the game.”

Fife midfielder Mark Docherty is yet to resume training following a knee operation and will miss the trip to Hampden.