East Fife boss admits trading conditions are tough
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Crawford has already made four signings this pre-season, employing the services of Allan Fleming, Alan Trouten, Sam Denham and Scott Shepherd.
Various trialists have been in at the club hoping to win a deal, training with the side and appearing in the two friendly games played against Civil Service Strollers and Spartans.
Crawford is still focused on adding to his squad but says it’s a challenging market.
“I’m always reflecting on stuff and I’m mindful that, under the last four or five seasons under Darren Young, East Fife have had a strong squad that had been reasonably successful in League One,” said the manager.
"But every team comes to an end, it’s not just a case of one or two, we’re having to make changes and if I can add the right experience to the squad I will.
"I have to be honest and transparent with the supporters on this one, everybody knows the effects of what Covid and the pandemic had in terms of mental health and the strains it put on individuals and families.
"For the first time I’m seeing players drop down divisions to play more local to where they stay.
"Usually you can talk a player into playing at a higher level for less money but the reality is at the moment people have bills and it’s difficult.
"But it’s not just ourselves who are facing that, I can see it in the markets in the leagues above.
"There are also teams outwith the senior leagues as well with the way they’re running and the finances they’re able to pay.
"There’s competition there but I don’t want to make excuses, I have to come up with answers to make East Fife compete.”
Sadly it looks as if the manager will be without the service of experienced midfielder Connor McManus for the start of the season.
The 26-year-old suffered with injury last season and the outlook doesn’t look any better this term.
"It looks like he’ll have to go and see another consultant to see where we’re at with him,” said Crawford.
East Fife were due to face Hill of Beath on Tuesday night as we were going to press before hosting Cowdenbeath this weekend.