Raith Rovers: John Sim wants to get Kirkcaldy's Polish community more involved

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While stressing he believes Raith Rovers now has excellent leadership under its new owners – spearheaded by CEO Andrew Barrowman and general manager Dean Mckenzie – outgoing supremo John Sim has urged his replacements to boost the diversity of Raith’s youth players and fanbase.

Sim, who still works for Raith behind the scenes, said: "I was lucky enough in my previous job to spend a fair bit of time in Warsaw. The lady in charge of our office there was a mainiac Legia Warsaw fan.

"We’ve got a big Polish community in Kirkcaldy but I don’t see or hear any Poles at Stark’s Park on a Saturday.

"And that’s just one area that we just need to build.

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John Sim announced Rovers' sale a month ago (Pic by Ross Parker/SNS Group)John Sim announced Rovers' sale a month ago (Pic by Ross Parker/SNS Group)
John Sim announced Rovers' sale a month ago (Pic by Ross Parker/SNS Group)

"It’s about building it up block by block. And I’m confident that Dean and Andrew have got the team around them to make it happen in a way that it just wasn’t happening before.

"The stadium’s pretty much maxed out. It’s used almost as much as it can be.

"So we’re working with the community foundation, looking at alternative secondary sites in Kirkcaldy district.

"And they’ve been taking their holiday camps beyond Kirkcaldy. So we’ve really got to look at our catchment area and start fighting with Dunfermline for youngsters. There’s going to be a very good effort with that.

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"We also used to have a very good schools programme. I can remember in 2006 that was something that Iain Davidson was very good at.

"We’ve continued but we need to take that to the next level and get more kids, especially disadvantaged children and look at individual pockets within the community.

“I’m just excited to be part of it. My mission is the same as in 2005. I want to be able to enjoy my retirement sitting in the Railway Stand watching good football."

Barrowman added: "We have a great community foundation. A community club with hundreds of kids there.

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"We have to engage more with them, we have to work together as a team with them.

"That’s bringing football to it but there’s a lot of other things that this place can be used as a vehicle for community spirit, commercially as well and business.

"If we can attract more people to come here then that benefits the local businesses as well.

"So it’s really just a huge team effort. We want a club that the local community can be proud of.”

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