Contract talks to begin despite uncertainty

Joe Cardle keeps his eye on the ball - Hamilton Accies against Raith Rovers at New Douglas Park, Hamilton
Joe Cardle keeps his eye on the ball - Hamilton Accies against Raith Rovers at New Douglas Park, Hamilton

BUILDING for next season is high on the agenda of Raith Rovers manager Grant Murray, he told The Press this week.

On-going league reconstruction talks mean the board is still not in a position to provide the player-boss with a concrete budget, however, Murray is keen to speak to the players he wants to keep sooner rather than later.

The entire first team squad - with the exception of youngsters Reece Donaldson and Lewis Vaughan - are out of contract at the end of the season, leaving Murray with plenty talking to do before the final game a week on Saturday.

Murray explained: “I’m no different from any other manager in that I have to assess the squad.

“There’s so much uncertainty in Scottish football just now, but there comes a point where you have to put that aside and get on with it.

“We’ve started discussing where we have to go to take the club forward next season.

“Once the situation with the leagues is clarified, then we can go full steam ahead.”

It is the club’s intention to run with a similar mix of part-time and full-time players next season, however any decline in season ticket sales, combined with no league restructure, could see the club take a part-time route.

“It’s a difficult situation,” Murray said. “The board still hope that we will get this change in Scottish football.

“But while it’s still so uncertain it’s difficult for them to put a finger on exactly what will be happening. We can only speak to the players until we know what’s definite.”

Murray wants his players to put the uncertainty over their futures behind them to focus on winning the final home game of the season this Saturday against Falkirk.

“We want our fans to return as season ticket holders so it’s important that they go away from the last home game happy,” he said. “The Hamilton game was a disappointment, but we’ve bounced back after defeats before and we’ll look to do so again.”

Rovers have meanwhile announced discounted season ticket prices for fans who buy before Friday, May 10.

Tickets for next season will be on sale from Stark’s Park from this Saturday and fans who purchase before the May 10 deadline will get 20 per cent off the full cost.

Prices are (early bird discount in brackets): adults £250 (£200), secondary school pupils £125 (£100), primary pupils £30 (£25), senior citizens £125 (£100). Season tickets do not include cup matches.

Walk up gate prices for next season will remain unchanged at adult £17, concessions £9.