Ireland disappointed to leave Raith after seven years

Craig Ireland has been removed from his position as Raith Rovers reserve team coach
Craig Ireland has been removed from his position as Raith Rovers reserve team coach

Raith Rovers have told reserve team manager Craig Ireland that his services are no longer required after seven years with the club.

Ireland was appointed by John McGlynn in 2008 as the club’s under 19 coach, which then developed into running the development squad under Grant Murray.

The former Aberdeen, Dunfermline and Falkirk defender has worked closely with youngsters such as Ross Callachan, Lewis Vaughan and Ross Laidlaw.

And the 39-year-old told the Press of his disappointment that his time at Stark’s Park has come to an end.

“I’ve been told there won’t be a position for me at the club next season,” Ireland said.

“I’m really disappointed especially since I know Ray McKinnon very well.

“We played together at Aberdeen and he’s a Dundee lad like myself.

“But it seems this decision was made before he was appointed.

“I’m disappointed because I feel the club is now really getting the rewards from the hard work we’ve put in with the likes of Ross Callachan and Lewis Vaughan.

“There’s also Ross Matthews and David Bates coming through, who I’ve got high hopes for.

“David went out on loan last season and from the reports I’ve had back he did very well.

“He should come back stronger this year and I would expect him to be pushing for the first team by Christmas.

“It’s disappointing but there’s no particular hard feelings. The club has made a decision and I’ve got to accept it.”

Ireland says he will take pride from his role in helping bring through a promising crop of Raith youngsters.

He said: “That’s what I got into coaching for - to provide a platform for young kids to play and make it enjoyable for them.

“By no means was it all down to me but I think I played my part - and I’m sure the young players will say I’ve had an influence on their career.”

The positions of goalkeeping coach Wayne Henderson and kit man Brian Marr are still uncertain.