Still business to be done as Raith target five signings

Michael Woods Centre - Glenrothes -  Fife - ' Raith players training - 'credit- Fife Photo Agency
Michael Woods Centre - Glenrothes - Fife - ' Raith players training - 'credit- Fife Photo Agency

Raith Rovers boss Barry Smith insists there is still plenty business to be done after securing one of his top targets – while another slipped through the net.

Former Hamilton Accies midfielder Gary Gillespie became the club’s third new signing of the summer on a two-year deal, but veteran striker Rory Loy turned down a move to Stark’s Park to go part-time with League One rivals Dumbarton.

For Smith, the capture of 26-year-old Gillespie, who has made over 100 appearances in the Scottish Premiership, was something to shout about.

“A guy of his quality and experience is a great signing for us,” he said.

“He’s played over 200 games for Hamilton and half of them have been in the Premiership.

“That experience will be valuable to us going through this season.

“He could probably get better offers elsewhere but it shows his determination and desire to win things here.

“He can do both sides of the game. He’s good on the ball, but can also do the other side as well.

“We’re delighted to have him on board, and his Premiership experience will certainly help the younger ones round about him.”

As Gillespie was putting pen to paper, recently released Falkirk frontman Loy was signing elsewhere after being offered a better financial package from part-timers Dumbarton.

“We spoke to Rory but he’s decided to go to Dumbarton based on finance,” he said.

“He can get a good part-time wage there, and they’ve offered him a job as well which makes him earn a lot more than we can offer.

“It’s frustrating from our point of view because we think offering full-time football is a good thing, but when it comes down to it guys have to think of security for their family.

“If that means that they have to go part-time and work, then boys are prepared to do that, rather than stay full-time and just get by.”

Smith has already moved on to fresh targets, and revealed that he is hoping to add another five players, including a goalkeeper, to his squad.

“We know the guys we want to get in, it’s just a matter of getting them to agree to come,” the manager added.

He explained that Raith intend to run with a squad of 16 players supplemented by youngsters from the development squad, which has now been integrated into the first team pool.

“Everybody’s together now and I think that will benefit the younger ones being involved more with the first team,” Smith explained.

“They were with us intermittently last year, but this year, because of the smaller numbers, they’ll definitely be involved a lot more with the first team.”

Meanwhile, pre-season training is continuing ahead of the first friendly match against Dunfermline at Bayview on Wednesday, July 4.

Raith are currently running the rule over a number of trialists, among them recently released St Mirren winger Nathan Flanagan.

Smith also remains in contact with freed Dunfermline winger Joe Cardle but the 31-year-old has offers on the table from clubs in the Championship.