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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 25 59
2 Raith Rovers 25 43
3 Forfar Athletic 26 43
4 East Fife 23 38
5 Montrose 26 35
6 Airdrieonians 26 31
7 Dumbarton 25 27
8 Stranraer 24 27
9 Brechin City 24 25
10 Stenhousemuir 24 22


2018/19 Squad

1 - Max Currie (GK)
3 - Chris McGowan (DEF)
4 - Andy McDonald (DEF)
5 - David Brownlie (DEF)
6 - Connor McManus (MID)
7 - Mark Lamont (MID)
8 - Kyle Turner (MID)
9 - Joao Victoria (STR)
10 - Ali McCann (MID)

11 - Grant Anderson (M/S)
12 - Ian Smith (MID)

13 - Lyle Avci (GK)
14 - Cameron Elliott (MID)
17 - David Smith (D/M)
18 - Innes Cameron (STR)
20 - PJ Crossan (STR)

22 - Jamie Hamill (DEF)
23 - Adam Cummins (DEF)
24 - Conor O'Keefe (MID)