New Beginnings

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STEVIE Farrell has started reshaping his Stranraer squad after confirming six players had been released.

Defender Craig Pettigrew has left the club while Giuliano Morena, Sam McCloskey, Michael Donald and Mark McGuigan are also looking elsewhere for football.

Influential winger Willie Gibson was offered a deal but has decided his future lies elsewhere.

The manager told the Stranraer website letting players go "was not nice".

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He said: "I didn't work with them long but there were guys like Craig Pettigrew, who I have worked with for a long time, but you have got to think about it for a player as well as a club.

"The decision is not only for the good of Stranraer and progressing the club but for the players involved as well.

"I think they will move on and enjoy their football and playing again."

Donald was Farrell's first signing, making his debut in Farrell's debut away to East Fife at the end of January.

He made a total of 12 appearances and was offered a new contract but has decided to return to the USA, where he previously played.

Meanwhile, hard-tackling Italian midfielder Morena was signed by Brian Reid after impressing in pre-season.

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The 24-year-old made his debut against Rangers and featured 22 times for the club, with 13 starts.

Sam McCloskey has spent much of this season out on loan at Kilwinning Rangers but made five appearances at the beginning of the campaign.

That took his total to 26 for Stranraer, with his only senior goal coming in the memorable 5-1 victory over Stenhousemuir on Boxing Day 2015.

Pettigrew returned to the club from Dumbarton in January and made ten appearances this season to take his Stranraer tally to 93, with two goals in his first spell at the club.

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Finally, McGuigan was signed by Stevie Aitken and Farrell before they moved to Dumbarton.

Since then, he has made 80 appearances in the blue shirt, with more than 50 of those coming from the start.

He scored 16 goals over the two seasons, including in the play-off final against Ayr United last season.

Perhaps the biggest surprise to home fans is the departure of Gibson, who has been a key component in the club's success in recent years.

Farrell said: "I didn't hide the fact that I wanted William to stay.

"He was looking for a better offer and I respect that.

"He has got to look after his family and we can only make the offer that the club's budget can make."

Thirty-two-year-old Gibson was a firm fans' favourite and came up with three goals and more than a few assists since Farrell returned to the club.
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His return saw the former Dumbarton man clock up 42 appearances this campaign and take his Stair Park total to 98, with 25 memorable goals along the way.

Farrell wished him all the best and added: "William is a very good player and will be difficult to replace.

"But no player is irreplaceable - apart from maybe Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.

"It is not about one individual player but building a squad to compete at the other end of the table.

"He is a loss to the club and it is up to me to replace him."

While there has already been plenty of activity in terms of players going out the door, Farrell confirmed deals had been offered to several current first team squad members.

Goalkeepers Cameron Belford and Max Currie have both been offered deals while Liam Dick, Scott Robertson and David Barron have also been given the chance to stay.

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In midfield, Kyle Turner and Scott Agnew are both under contract, while Ryan Thomson and Steven Bell have also been offered new contracts.

Finally, 104 goal striker Craig Malcolm has also been given the chance to keep finding the net at Stair Park and Calvin Kemp, who has not yet been offered a contract, will be given the chance to impress in pre-season.

The manager was due to meet with the squad again tonight (Friday) with hopes of tying players to new deals.

Elsewhere, David Wilson has returned to Partick Thistle after his loan deal ended but the door remains open to Morgyn Neill and Amadou Kassarate.

Farrell said: "I like Morgyn and I like his attitude.

"When you sign a loan player you have got to sign the right type and he is the right type.

"He genuinely wanted to do well and for Stranraer to succeed."

betfred1

 Pos  Team  Pld   Pts 
1 Livingston 2 5
2 St Mirren
2 3
3 Airdrieonians 1 3
4 Partick Thistle 1 1
5 STRANRAER 2 0

Fixtures


00 Stranraer FC 2015 Logo
3 Number Lotto
Sunday 25 June 2017

Numbers: 4, 5, 13

3 winners this week, each taking home £335:

G.Moir, Stranraer
Thomson, Stranraer
L.McGeoch, London Road, Stranraer