East Fife manager Gary Naysmith has admitted that his attempts to add to his squad have hit a brick wall.
Naysmith was left exasperated this week after two key signing targets decided against a move to Methil.
This is probably the most frustrated I’ve been at East FifeGary Naysmith
And the player-boss revealed that he has even struggled to entice highly-paid junior players to Bayview.
“This is probably the most frustrated I’ve been at East Fife,” Naysmith told the Mail.
“I’ve just lost out on a couple of players that we thought we had – one decided to stay where he is, and another went to League One – so it’s very difficult right now.
“Sometimes it’s money, sometimes it’s players not wanting to drop to our league, and sometimes it’s down to location.
“I’ve been speaking to junior players as well but some juniors clubs are paying players more than I can give them.
“That’s nothing against East Fife – certain junior teams are paying more than most teams in our league.
“You might think that a junior player would want to go senior, but sometimes the numbers just don’t add up.
“It’s just not happening for us at the moment, but we’ll keep working away on it.”
Pre-season training starts on Saturday and Naysmith hopes to have five or six players on trial.
“There are players who have been released from other clubs but we’ve not seen enough of them to offer a deal,” he said.
“We will have a look at them in training and in a game environment before making any decisions.”
The East Fife manager also intends to use the loan market to his advantage next season, although he stressed that clubs may not be willing to let players leave until the first week of the season.
He said: “The loans we got in really worked out for us last season.
“Liam Smith came in and had a really big impact, Jordan Leyden had an impact in the time he was here as did Jordan Millar in goals.
“The only one you could say that didn’t really work out was Ola Adeyemo but even then, his arrival gave Nathan Austin a boost and he upped his game so Ola had an impact in that way.”
One player who looks like missing pre-season is captain Stevie Campbell.
“Stevie is going in for an operation,” said the manager.
“It’s something he’s been needing for a while so we want to get him in for that and the hope is that we can get him back sharply.
“And then we’ll be working towards the Ramsdens Cup and we already know that Allan Walker and Kevin Smith will be suspended for the first game.”