East Fife boss opens the contact book

East Fife boss Gary Naysmith.
East Fife boss Gary Naysmith.

It’s the time of the season when managers are hoping to uncover the gem which can light up the second part of their campaign.

Some are critical of the January signing window, but last season East Fife’s promotion hopes were given a shot in the arm during the early part of the year.

With the Fifers struggling for form heading into the window, boss Gary Naysmith’s business included the introductions of Julen Extabeguren and Sean Dickson who added lacking defensive and attacking qualities to the side.

Ultimately, their arrivals, and latterly that of Derek Riordan, helped push the Fifers into the end of season promotion play-offs.

The manager has this week added to his squad, with Liam Kelly arriving from Rangers on loan and Jordan Austin signing pro-terms.

Naysmith revealed he’s using his extensive contact list to attract the best of what’s available to Bayview.

He said: “I’m on websites every day to see who clubs are releasing, but there’s not much out there at the moment.

“It wouldn’t surprise me if there is a lot of movement in the last week.

“I know the managers of the Premier League and Championship clubs so I’m talking to them as well to see who may become available and get in there before anyone else.

“I still want to add but it’ll be younger players.

“Unfortunately we’re not likely to get anyone with experience because they’re just not out there at the moment.”

The boss says he’s still targeting a left sided player after the club decided to part ways with Kieran MacDonald last week.

With Kevin Smith not yet fit for a return to the side, the gaffer feels he’s short on that side of the park.

“We have plenty of cover on the right,” he said.

“Graeme MacGregor, Craig Murray and Scott Mercer can all play there.

“But we’re still looking to fill that position on the left.”

Kelly made his first appearance for the Methil side on Saturday and Austin, who has played as a trialist, took a place on the bench.

Naysmith added: “Liam seems a confident lad and you don’t sit on the bench for Rangers for six months and represent the national teams if you don’t have ability.

“I know Jim Stewart (Rangers goalkeeping coach) really well and I trust his opinion on him.

“Jordan is one for the future and we’ve signed him until the end of the season to see how he goes.

“He’s also a bit nervous about making that step up to senior level but he’s been training with us and played a couple of games.

“We’ve been impressed with him.

“Is he ready to start a game for us yet? probably not. But can he make an impact in the last 20 minutes? yes he can.”

This weekend the Fifers travel to face an Annan side flying after their stunning 4-1 win over Hamilton Accies on Saturday.

“The scoreline itself surprised me but I wasn’t too surprised that Annan won the game,” said the Fife boss.

“People underestimate the teams in our league at times.

“I’ve said before that their surface isn’t the greatest and anyone in League Two will tell you how difficult it is to go there. They have a great home record and are a very well organised team.”