THE HARD work starts on Saturday for Raith Rovers players as they report back for the first day of pre-season training.
This will be Grant Murray’s first full pre-season as manager having stepped into the hot seat midway through last season’s preparations.
With only 20 days to go until the first friendly fixture against Sheffield United on July 10, the player-boss is looking forward to putting his players through their paces at the club’s new training complex in Glenrothes.
“The dreaded pre-season is part and parcel of football, but generally players look after themselves over the summer now,” Murray said.
“The friendly games won’t be long in coming round, and that gives everyone something to look forward to.
“We’ve got games that will give the guys a good test, and we’ll have to work hard to get ready for them.
“The most important thing though is to get the team ready for day one of the competitive season.”
Murray turns 38 in August but he plans to continue playing and will take part in pre-season training.
“I missed part of pre-season last year because I had a clean up operation on my knee,” he said.
“This season I will be involved as much as I can, but there will be times where I step back and make sure I’m getting the best out of the lads.
“I’m player-manager so I’ll be available for selection but hopefully the guys that are signed can keep me out the team.”
Murray was still locked in talks with signing targets as we went to print but he is content with the squad he has assembled.
“I’m still waiting on couple of guys getting back to me, but I’m happy enough with what we’ve got,” he said.
“If we get the opportunity to sign these players then great, if not, pre-season still starts and we move on.
“There’s always the opportunity of one or two loan deals once the season starts.”
One such loan deal in the offing is for Hibs left back Callum Booth, who spent most of last season on loan at Livingston.
Rovers are currently in talks with the parent club and player and hope to be able to confirm the loan signing tomorrow (Friday).