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Agnew eyes strong start for Blues

  • Post published:2 August 2023

Scott Agnew has vowed to leave no stone unturned in his bid to improve Stranraer.

The manager has been busy during his first close season with the Blues as he revamps the squad.

Eight players have come through the door at Stair Park, with three of those coming from outside the SPFL, alongside Kyle Fleming, who spent last season with Albion Rovers.

The manager stressed he was keen to strengthen the squad and would look outside the top four leagues to do so if necessary.

He said: “There is no secret that financially we are not going to outbid people, even in League Two.

The manager has added three new strikers this summer

“So, we need to get creative, we need to find gems that deserve an opportunity.

“Especially with strikers, I think it is a little bit different.

“If you can hit the net on a regular basis, it puts you in good stead for whatever league you play in.”

The latest addition to the squad is Deryn Lang, who has made the step up from the West of Scotland Football League and Lanark United.

The frontman is on the road to recovery after an injury and Agnew was pleased to bring him to the club.

He said: “Deryn was one that got put to me.

“I know there were a few clubs looking at Deryn.

Deryn Lang wasted no time in introducing himself to Stranraer supporters

“He has come from Lanark, it is a big jump up for him but it is a brilliant opportunity.

“What I like about Deryn is he plays off the cuff.

“He will cause a lot of teams problems and he has got a real desire to score goals.

“I think you saw in the Kilwinning game where he managed to get two and he could have had three or four.

“I think he was quite disappointed that he didn’t get three or four, which is great to see.”

The Blues had a mixed bag of results during the Viaplay Cup.

There were promising signs in the defeat to Premiership side Ross County and a victory over League One’s Edinburgh City alongside defeats to Greenock Morton and Kelty Hearts.

Agnew’s side defeated Edinburgh City from the league above

Now, ahead of a trip to Elgin this weekend, Agnew and the squad are gearing up for a gruelling League Two campaign.

He said: “I cannot wait.

“It was obviously a tough Viaplay Cup section but we learned a lot from it.

“We spent a bit of time on Saturday looking back over it, analysing, so there were lots of positives we will look to take into the league campaign.

“Some of the football we played in the cup was excellent.

“I think some of the individual performances were excellent as well.

“Within the games, learning from Ross County and Morton and mistakes we made in those games, I think we turned round and really put Edinburgh under pressure and put on a fantastic performance.

“I think the boys have adapted quickly to what I want to see and how I want us to play.”

A win over Elgin in April got Agnew off to a promising start as manager

Coincidentally, Agnew’s first game as Stranraer boss was also against Elgin City.

That came in April at Stair Park and saw the Blues ease fears of finishing bottom as they won 3-1 just a week after an 8-0 loss at Agnew’s former club, East Fife.

He will be hoping for a repeat performance and result at Borough Briggs to get the new campaign off to the perfect start.

The manager was hopeful to have a few players back from injury for the long trip north and said: “Everyone wants to start with a good performance and, more importantly, pick up three points in the first league game and we are no different.

“We will go up there with confidence.

“The reason I did the analysis on Saturday was to show how good we can be when we do things properly.

“I think the boys left feeling that way so we will be at it come Saturday.

“We will train properly, we will prepare properly and we will go up there and try to get the victory.”

Photos: Bill McCandlish