Raith striker returns to squad after 'reality check'

Raith Rovers striker Yaw Osei. Pic: Fife Photo Agency
Raith Rovers striker Yaw Osei. Pic: Fife Photo Agency

Raith Rovers striker Yaw Osei will return to the squad this weekend after scoring a hat-trick for the under 20s.

The 18-year-old summer signing has not featured since July and was sent to train with the development squad after struggling to cope with the demands of the first team.

But after netting a treble in a 6-1 win over Alloa U20s last midweek, manager Gary Locke feels the Swaziland-born youngster is now ready for a top team return.

“He has come in, and as some young lads do, he thought everything would come easily to him," Locke said.

”“His confidence was low and he wasn’t doing the things we felt he could.

“He struggled with the intensity of the training, coming from academy football in England where training can be one-paced and slow.

“We felt it was right just to take him out – he’s had a couple of bad injuries as well – but we just felt it was right for him to have a wee bit of a reality check.

“He trained with the young lads for a bit and he’s responded really well.

“He’s the same age as the lads on the ground staff here so we gave him that wee bit of responsibility and, to be fair to him, he’s responded well.

“He’s now clear of injury and he’ll be back in the squad for Saturday.

“I’m the same with every young player at the club. If myself and Darren feel they are doing well enough they’ll get the opportunity.”

There is bad news on the injury front for midfielder Scott Robertson, however, who has suffered a setback after making his comeback in the same U20s game last week.

“He came through the game alright but he’s had another wee set back which is disappointing because he was fantastic in the game,” Locke said.

“He only played for 45 minutes because we want to try and manage him, but he’s had a set back in training relating to the same injury so we just have to wait and see how it settles down.

“It’s bad news for us and bad news for the lad because we were looking forward to getting him back in the squad.

“I feel for the him because he’s so down at the minute - he felt he was getting back.

“Myself and Darren haven’t had the opportunity to work with him at close quarters yet, but I’ve been manager of teams that played against him so we know he’s a quality player.

“It’s a blow for us because he’d have been a great addition to the squad at this time of the season, and he’s got that experience as well.”

Another player yet to feature this season, Craig Barr, has started jogging and hopes to return to action in January.

Bobby Barr and Jason Thomson are also starting rehab soon following knee injuries.