Glenrothes bid to consolidate while Thorton seek return

Glenrothes Juniors on action last season against Dundee North EndGlenrothes Juniors on action last season against Dundee North End
Glenrothes Juniors on action last season against Dundee North End
Pre-season friendlies begin later this month, with Premier League football the common factor among the ambitions of a couple of local sides.

Glenrothes Juniors, who won promotion last season, are keen to consolidate and hopefully get as far as they can.

Thornton Hibs suffered the indignity of relegation and will be hoping to escape from the East Region North Division at the first time of asking.

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The Memorial Park squad has made a handful of new signings and hopes the close-season fixture diary will give them a confident start to the 2016-17 campaign.

Training starts again tonight (Wednesday) and arriving at Thornton are goalkeeper Dean Gear, from Scottish Amateur Cup finalists Leven United, Max Coleman from Balgonie Scotia, Matthew Robertson from Rosyth and Dean McMillan from Lochore, while Nicholas McGowan’s signing from Oakley is virtually concluded.

Manager Craig Gilbert said their presence should bring a bit of youth and eagerness to the side, while he hopes to make several other new signings before the action starts for real on August 6.

Among those leaving the club are Matthew Gay, who struggled last season with injury and has gone to Kennoway Star Hearts, and Adam Drummond, who has joined the amateur ranks with Greig Park Rangers.

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Thornton are in the Luncarty Tournament on July 23-24, playing Camelon on the Saturday and, if they win, either the hosts or St Johnstone U20s on the Sunday.

They visit Carnoustie on July 27 and AMSoccer at Cupar on July 30, then are at home on August 3 to Denbeath, before the league action starts on August 6 with a trip to Coupar Angus.

Although Hibs had finished third bottom in the Premier League last season, Gilbert felt they didn’t really deserve to get relegated. “The performances merited better,” he said.

Hibs hadn’t scored enough last term and needed to win more games, he added.

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Over at Warout, Glenrothes boss Benny Andrew said his side was still in a rebuilding process and ‘phase two’ was beckoning after gaining some success with the promotion.

Blair Smart had arrived from Newburgh, plus some from the U15 ranks, while the departure of a few players was still under discussion.

Glenrothes visit Camelon on July 21, then Stoneyburn two days later, with a game on July 27 against Lochgelly on a neutral ground. They play Oakley on July 30 in the Kinnoull Tournament, with the winners taking on Kinnoull or Kirkcaldy the following day.