East Fife hunting down cover at the back and up top

East Fife’s pre-season friendly schedule kicks off this week, with Darren Young’s side likely to feature some fresh faces.

Wednesday, 23rd June 2021, 1:19 pm
Darren Young will cast his eye over a few trialists this week when the Fife host The New Saints and St Andrews United. Pic by Michael Gillen

The New Saints visit Bayview this evening ahead of the arrival of Charlie King’s East of Scotland Football League side St Andrews United 24 hours later.

Wednesday’s Welsh visitors are preparing for a Europa Conference League tie against Glentoran at the start of July and will clearly provide a different challenge to King’s north east Fife side on Thursday.

But the tests are a positive for boss Young, and he told the East Fife Mail that he will be handing shirts to a group of triallists all aiming to win contracts for the new season.

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The squad have been back training for over a week now and the Fife boss says they’re shaping up well ahead of their return to action.

“Everyone is looking good. They’re all really sharp,” said the 42-year-old.

“The new boys have come in and have done well, so I’m really happy with how that’s going.

“I’m still trying to find players and a couple of triallists have been in.

“The position we’re in is that we need a couple of bodies, so we’ll see how they get on.

“I’m looking for a defender and attackers.”

As for this week’s games, Young is delighted to be able to guide his side back to the pitch again.

“We’re looking forward to them, and it’s a very hard test for us for our first game,” he said.

“St Andrews have been back in for a wee while as well so they’re probably at the same stage as us fitness-wise.

“It’s going to be good to get back playing and get the bodies out on the park.

“We want to try and get everyone as much game-time as possible and make sure they’re all singing from the same hymn book.”

One player who won’t be taking to the park this weekend is summer signing Mark McGuigan.

East Fife confirmed on Monday that the 32-year-old striker, formerly of Stenhousemuir, has retired from senior football to start a PhD in sport science with Celtic and the University of the West of Scotland.

Young added: “I’m absolutely gutted Mark won’t be playing for East Fife this year, but this is an excellent opportunity for him and one he couldn’t turn down.”