Fraser returns to manage Gala Fairydean
Published: 24 Sep 2012 09:300 comments
FORMER coach Garry Fraser returned to Gala Fairydean this week to take over as manager. The 33-year-old was unveiled as the new Netherdale gaffer on Monday evening.
And he will be assisted by former Coldstream, Kelso United and East of Scotland Select manager Jim McLean.
Gala have been managerless for almost a month since the shock resignation of Fraser Lothian. But they have still won two out of their three league games with player Paul Young taking charge.
New boss Fraser, who started up the Fairydean youth section almost a decade ago, told us: "I am delighted to be back at the club that means so much to me.
"I left in summer due to personal reasons but when Fraser left I had a long, hard to think to myself about whether I'd like to do the job. I did. I'm in it for the long haul and want to bring success back to the club."
Fraser was reunited with the players he'd been coaching for the past three seasons. But he admits he'll be looking for a few new faces in a bid to win promotion this season.
He added: "I think we have some fantastic players at this club - but there's not enough of them. We need another four or five players to be realistic contenders this season."
Although new assistant boss Mclean has been round the East of Scotland block several times, this will be the first involvement at Gala Fairydean.
The 62-year-old has an impressive managerial CV which stems back to the late 1970s at Greenlaw then Coldstream.
He worked closely with Jim Jefferies at both Berwick Rangers and Hawick Royal Albert, and also guided the East of Scotland Select to their most successful ever campaigns.
McLean said: "I know the history of this club and that puts a lot of pressure on me to do well. We want to take Gala Fairydean back to when it was the force in local football."
McLean first worked with Fraser when he was manager of Kelso United five years ago. He added: "I've stayed in touch with Garry ever since the Kelso days and I'm here to help him the best I can."
The new Fairydean management team will have their first test on Saturday when they travel to Heriot-Watt University in the South Cup.
Club chairman Joss Ritchie is delighted to finally have someone in the dugout. He told us: "There has been a gap between Fraser Lothian leaving and the new manager coming in but we wanted to get the right people, and I think we've done that.
"Garry was a very good coach when he was here and he now has the opportunity to prove himself as a manager. With Jim's experience I think we have an excellent partnership to take the club forward."
Selkirk's management duo of Mike McKinnon and Aaron Biggs were doing their own celebrating on Saturday night after their team came from behind to beat Civil Service Strollers.
But this week they face an even stiffer challenge when they travel to face First Division promotion rivals Coldstream.