New president Lindsay Petrie hoping to see Howe of Fife challenging at top of table next rugby season

Howe of Fife vice-presidents Sandy Green, left, and Alan Hendry, right, with new president Lindsay Petrie (Photo: Chris Reekie)Howe of Fife vice-presidents Sandy Green, left, and Alan Hendry, right, with new president Lindsay Petrie (Photo: Chris Reekie)
Howe of Fife vice-presidents Sandy Green, left, and Alan Hendry, right, with new president Lindsay Petrie (Photo: Chris Reekie)
New Howe of Fife president Lindsay Petrie is confident the Cupar club can improve on their fifth-placed finish in rugby’s Scottish National League Division 3 next season if they’re able to avoid being so hard hit by injuries.

“It’s going to be very difficult,” said the 70-year-old, of Auchtermuchty.

“Where we finished up last year means there were a few teams above us in the league, but we’re absolutely delighted that Stewart Lathangie is staying on as head coach and we’ve got a very good captain in Fraser Allan.

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“We had an awful lot of injuries and just unavailability last season.

“I would say that if Stewart can put his best side every week, we’d be in with a shout, but when you’re missing key players, it makes it very difficult.

“That’s not saying that the boys coming through aren’t good players as well, but if you can field much the same team virtually every week, they get to know what each other will do.

“I honestly think if he can get enough of the same players out every week, we won’t be far away.”

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Telling of his pride at taking over from Gordon Thomson as president for the next two years, Petrie, formerly a coach for Howe’s under-14, under-16 and under-18 sides, said: “I’m absolutely over the Moon really.

“It came out of the blue. It was something I wasn’t expecting.

“Unfortunately, our last vice-president was unable to move up this year, so that left the club in a position where there was no one immediately in line to inherit that role, so they decided they’d ask someone else and it was me.

“I’m certainly looking forward to it.

“I was a wee bit apprehensive to start with but I’ve spoken to our captain and I’ve spoken to our coach and I’m getting very positive vibes from them.

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“I’ll now have to start looking at the Harlequins and the Crusaders too because up to now I’ve just followed the first XV but obviously you’re not just president of one team – you’re president of the whole club.”

Petrie’s been a member of the Duffus Park club since the age of 18 but was only a player there, at stand-off, for a few years due to work commitments with the old Fife Fire and Rescue Service.

“I started playing there and then did a bit of youth coaching and now I’m just a fervent supporter,” he said.

“Unfortunately, I had to stop playing far too young. I’d have been about 24.

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“I moved away. It wasn’t too far away, but in those days I didn’t have any transport to get into training and things, so I just let it go, more or less.

“It was only Auchtermuchty but I just couldn’t get a bus into Cupar and I didn’t have a car.

“It was just circumstance and it’s probably something I do regret but it was just what happened at the time.”

Petrie will be backed up by vice-presidents Sandy Green and Alan Hendry and skipper Allan will have Gregor Smith and Will Howley as vice-captains.

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Crusaders and Harlequins captains for the season ahead are Daryl Warrender and Victoria Nicoll respectively.

Howe’s first XV begin next season with a visit from Allan Glen’s on Saturday, September 14, with kick-off at 3pm.

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