St Andrews United: Boss Garry Wright 'gutted' by Scott Reekie departure but may not sign replacement

Scott Reekie has moved on after two-and-a-half seasons at St Andrews UnitedScott Reekie has moved on after two-and-a-half seasons at St Andrews United
Scott Reekie has moved on after two-and-a-half seasons at St Andrews United
Although St Andrews United gaffer Garry Wright is “gutted” that centre-back Scott Reekie this week left to join SPFL League 2 outfit Forfar Athletic on a one-year deal, the manager told the Herald and Citizen that he may not sign a direct replacement for the departed 24-year-old stopper this summer.

“Scott leaving is a massive loss,” Wright said. “But at the same time he’s gone to play at a higher level so I’m feeling a bit mixed.

"I’m gutted that we lose a player of his calibre but to see him go and get the chance at that level – where he’s played before – is good to see and I wish him all the best because he’s a good guy.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"Scott knows he’s got loads to learn but he’s a good defender first and foremost and he’s really comfortable on the ball, taking it from the back.

Garry Wright took over as Saints boss this summer after Robbie Raeside's departureGarry Wright took over as Saints boss this summer after Robbie Raeside's departure
Garry Wright took over as Saints boss this summer after Robbie Raeside's departure

"He will be a good addition for Forfar I’m sure and I think he’ll cope at that level no bother. I’m not saying we’d made plans for Scott leaving, but we’d added another defender – Daniel Hall – into the club anyway.

"He wasn’t going to be a direct replacement for Scott, he was just coming into the squad.

"Daniel is a completely different type of player from Scott. He’s older, he’s got plenty experience and is an aggressive centre-half.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"He’s a good leader – I’m not saying Scott wasn’t – but Dan’s got that presence, he’s been about at a higher level.

Defender Tom Milne gets stuck in for St Andrews United in 3-2 win at Broughty Athletic (Match pics by John Stevenson)Defender Tom Milne gets stuck in for St Andrews United in 3-2 win at Broughty Athletic (Match pics by John Stevenson)
Defender Tom Milne gets stuck in for St Andrews United in 3-2 win at Broughty Athletic (Match pics by John Stevenson)

"At the moment I’m happy with the squad. I would maybe look at adding one other player but we’ve got players which can play in a lot of different positions which is pretty good to have.”

Having first joined United in February 2022 after gaining considerable experience with Dundee United's youth team, Falkirk, Brechin City and Edinburgh City, classy stopper Reekie quickly became a popular figure around The Clayton Caravan Park Recreation Ground and his departure is likely to irk many among the Saints support.

However, boss Wright stressed that, with club captain and last season’s player of the year Ryan Roche still at the club and stalwarts like Tom Milne also providing United with strong central defensive options, new arrival Hall – who previously served Kirkcaldy & Dysart – would still be no guaranteed starter.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Saints’ first pre-season friendly of this summer saw them win 3-2 at Broughty Athletic last Saturday.

Lewis Payne scores Saints' penalty at Broughty AthleticLewis Payne scores Saints' penalty at Broughty Athletic
Lewis Payne scores Saints' penalty at Broughty Athletic

The hosts – with recently departed Saints striker Ryan Dignan in their ranks – were dominant in the first half but had to settle for a 1-1 half-time scoreline after Kyle Sneddon’s header equalised Broughty’s 18th-minute penalty opener by Jamie Reid.

But an improved United went 3-1 up thanks to Lewis Payne’s penalty and an own goal, before Darren Watson pulled one back.

“We rode our luck in the first half,” Wright said. “We could have been a few down at half-time and we would have had no complaints. Our goalkeeper made a few good saves.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"We were a wee bit off it and Broughty were a really good side with some very good players.

"Ryan Dignan was good in the first half and he was a really good player for us so I wish him all the best at Broughty.

"But we got a really good reaction and were a lot better in the second half. So I was quite happy, especially with the second half performance.”

Saints’ pre-season schedule continues with away games at Broxburn Athletic this Saturday, kick-off 2.30pm and Tayport next Wednesday, kick-off 7.30pm.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The newly released fixtures for the East of Scotland Football League have handed United a Premier Division opener at Dunipace on Saturday, July 27, kick-off 2.30pm. And Saints have been drawn away to Preston Athletic in the East of Scotland Qualifying Cup second round on Tuesday, July 30.

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.