Callachan proud to wear Raith armband

Ross Callachan captained Raith for the first time at Tannadice on Saturday. Pic: George McLuskie
Ross Callachan captained Raith for the first time at Tannadice on Saturday. Pic: George McLuskie

It’s been a summer of change at Stark’s Park, with a freshened up squad under the tutelage of a new management team, looking to win promotion from a division they last participated in back in 2009.

That’s not all that’s been altered though, with the club captain changing from Jason Thomson to Ross Callachan, and the 23-year-old explained it was a role he was honoured to accept.

“The captaincy was up for grabs, and the gaffer saw me in the first two weeks of training, and was happy with what I was doing,” he told the Press.

“He thought I seemed a bit of a leader and good in the changing room, and I think that’s why he’s given me it and I’m really chuffed.

“I was a wee bit surprised, but I’ve been at the club a while now. It was a really proud moment for me.”

Despite starting the campaign with two Betfred Cup defeats to Dundee United and Dundee, most Raith fans left the games reasonably upbeat about what they’d seen.

Barry Smith has already spoken highly of how the players have responded to him since his arrival at the club, but the players have been quick to reciprocate the praise, with the central midfielder particularly happy with the pre-season programme.

Callachan said: “I had a really chilled summer, as I was injured at the end of last season and just wanted to get fit and hit the ground running right from the start of this one.

“Training wise, pre-season has been brilliant, probably the most I’ve ever enjoyed a pre-season.

“There’s been loads of ball work, and no really hard running sessions which can be a slog.

“The ball’s been involved every day, so it’s been really enjoyable.”

One of the more encouraging aspects of the early season action has been the performances of Scott Robertson in midfield, and Callachan believes the return of the former Scotland international can help both the team and his own game, as Raith look to justify their position as the bookies favourite for League One.

“Scott’s got such a lot of experience, and he’s shown it in the last couple of games,” he said. “I know exactly what type of player he is.

“He sits back a bit and does a wee bit more defensive work, which allows me to get forward more.

“I think we’ve started really well, and hopefully we can kick on from here.”

Callachan is confident over Raith’s chances of lifting the League One title.

“On paper, I think we should be winning the league with the players we’ve got,” he expressed.

“Our front four attacking players have so many goals in them.

“We’ve brought in two of the highest goal-scorers from this league last season, so you can’t ask for much more.

“We should definitely be scoring goals, so if we can keep it tight at the back, we should win the league, and we shouldn’t be afraid to say it.”