PANMURE manager Ian Gilzean is confident that big changes this pre-season will have a positive effect on their league campaign.
In total, eight names have been scored off the teamsheet but Ian reckons their spirit is intact. He said: “It’s looking great. It’s hard when we lose so many boys, especially when some of them were quite vocal characters in the dressing room. It can be a bit quiet to start with, but as they begin to feel more part of it, it will evolve and grow. We had a really good team spirit last season. A couple of times it faltered and we had to have a word with them, but it’s always been there.”
Among the latest departures from Laing Park is stalwart Mark Matthew. Ian said: “He did well for us, but we felt we needed to try and improve the squad a bit more. He never let us down in that way and it was just one of those tough decisions.”
Also leaving are Craig Jamieson, Sam Johnston, ‘keeper John McCafferty and Captain Robert Hendry who will join Kev Cumming at St Andrews United. Ian said: “Although he was captain which is a big loss, we’ve got enough cover in centre to deal with that.”
To make up for this Ian is hoping to secure the services of Marc Scott, brother of recently signed Liam Scott. He said: “He’s one we’ve offered a deal. He’s done really well for a young lad, and he’s looking like a good prospect. Hopefully he’ll bring the papers back to training this week, it’s looking positive on that one.”
Trialist Nicky Smith scored on Saturday against AFC Milton. The gaffer explained: “The lad’s come on in two games, and he’s done really well. He’s still working on fitness, I think he’s been out of the game for a year, so we’ll monitor that and we’ll see how we go. Hopefully we’ll still be able to add a couple of members to the squad and he’s certainly in the mix for that.”
Tomorrow (Saturday) the Gowfers face Carnoustie YM in what has become a bit of a pre-season tradition and local derby. The boss said: “We’ve played them for the last two or three years and they always give us a tough game. They are often quite close but as the game wears on I think our fitness tells a bit more, as well as our quality. We’ve always had a good relationship with the YM. In the past we’ve had players loaned out to them and guys from the amateurs have come up to us, most recently Harry Neave, but previously Andy Cowan and big Greg Beattie have come to us from them.”