A good start to Raith rebuilding job

Craig Barr, pictured in action at Tynecastle on Saturday, has signed a new contract with Raith Rovers. Pic: Greg Macvean
Craig Barr, pictured in action at Tynecastle on Saturday, has signed a new contract with Raith Rovers. Pic: Greg Macvean

Grant Murray reckons Raith Rovers have already made a good start to next season by tying down two key players on new contracts.

Midfielder Ross Callachan signed a two-year deal last Friday, while defender Craig Barr opted for a one-year deal on Monday.

And the Raith manager was thilled to sign up two of his priority targets amid interest from other clubs.

“We’re delighted to get both players signed up” Murray told the Press.

“Craig had a difficult time with injury earlier in the season, but he got himself back fit.

“He then had to be patient but after getting his chance in the team, he’s shown he is capable of staying in it.

“He’s a good experienced player - still at a good age - and he can hold his own in several positions.

“Ross is another one who has been in the team on merit.

“He is a player who is capable of going onto bigger and better things.”

More talks are talking place behind the scenes with out of contract players, with further annoucements possible next week.

Murray has also drawn up a list of targets from outside the club, although contractual obligations could delay any official signing news until June.

“It’s difficult because the football season ends at the start of May, but contracts run until May 31,” he said.

“However, we have targeted players we want to bring in that will add to the squad.”

Eric Drysdale, club secretary, added: “As you can imagine there are a lot of moving parts here.

“The manager and director of football will be speaking to players in the next week or two to either make them an offer or not, depending on their opinion of individual players.

“That process is ongoing just now - and once we’ve had these discussions we’ll be going out to look at the outside market.

“The registration window doesn’t open until June, but we’ve got targets identified for specific positions.”

On Saturday the focus returns to the pitch as bottom club Livingston visit Stark’s Park for the final home match of the season.

The away side are desperate for points in the fight to avoid relegation, but Murray insists Rovers want to finish their home campaign on a high.

“Livingston have still got a lot to play for but it’s our last opportunity to go out and perform in front of our fans,” he said.

“I’ll be asking the players to show a winning mentality and get the three points.

“There was some good performances at Tynecastle on Saturday and I’m hoping we can build on it.”

Murray added that there are no injury worries, and that he should have everyone available for selection.

Meanwhile, Rovers have appointed a new physiotherapist after losing Karen Gibson to Hearts.

Stuart Phin will take his place in the Raith dugout from Saturday having previously worked with Inverness Caledonian Thistle and Stirling Albion.

After her final game, ironically at Tynecastle on Saturday, Karen said: “It’s a bit of a wrench to leave. I can’t thank Raith enough for everything they’ve given me.”