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ERIC PHILLIPS is a name that will currently send shivers down the spine of Stranraer's young goalkeepers.

The goalkeeping coach has been influential in the development of Max Currie, Cameron Belford and David Mitchell in recent seasons.

And he's got a new recruit this season in the form of local goalkeeper Lyle Avci.

But as Currie revealed, Eric has become a fearsome figure as he looks to get his keepers in tip-top condition for the new season.

He said: "Training's been hard - Big Eric's been giving us it really tough.

"No five minute water break - just a two minute and then right back in, a hundred miles an hour!

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"But it'll all be good come the start of the season."

Pre-season for the goalkeepers is very different from that of the outfield players, with long runs swapped for more position-specific work.

But this year, training has been more demanding than ever before.

Currie said: "It's longer sets, and getting encouraged to do it a bit quicker.

"It's a lot of up, down, across the goal, back up.

"It's just really tough, which isn't normal training for us.

"But he's swearing by it, and it gets us fit."

Currie is in his fourth pre-season at Stair Park, having signed from Motherwell back in summer 2015.

After a brief loan spell at Cumbernauld Colts, Max finally inherited the number one jersey earlier this year, after a difficult winter period saw first choice shot-stopper Belford leave the club.
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The young keeper has been impressive in his appearances to date, and is keen to hold on to his place in the starting eleven.

He said: "It's so much better, you look forward to games.

"Even going to training, you look forward to it.

"Knowing you're playing is massive.

"There's nothing worse, especially travelling down (to Stranraer) knowing you're on the bench, like I did for long enough.

"Now that I'm number one, hopefully I can keep it and get that feeling a lot more."

Photos: Stranraer FC

SPFL 3L1 6474

1 Arbroath 17 45
2 Raith Rovers 17 32
3 East Fife 17 26
4 Forfar Athletic 17 24
5 Montrose 17 21
6 Airdrieonians 17 20
7 Stranraer 16 20
8 Dumbarton 17
9 Brechin City 16 16
10 Stenhousemuir 17 15


2018/19 Squad

1 - Max Currie (GK)
2 - Daniel Higgins (DEF)

3 - Chris McGowan (DEF)
4 - Andy McDonald (DEF)
5 - David Brownlie (DEF)
6 - Connor McManus (MID)
7 - Mark Lamont (MID)
8 - Kyle Turner (MID)
10 - Luke Donnelly (STR)
11 - Grant Anderson (M/S)
12 - Ian Smith (MID)

13 - Lyle Avci (GK)
14 - Cameron Elliott (MID)
16 - Max Ashmore (MID)
17 - David Smith (D/M)
18 - Innes Cameron (STR)
19 - Ciaran Diver (STR)
20 - PJ Crossan (STR)

22 - Jamie Hamill (DEF)
23 - Adam Cummins (DEF)