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Rice hails new beginning at Stair Park

  • Post published:3 August 2023

Thousands of miles will be covered over the next nine months as Stranraer work their way through the season and the club’s vice-chairman is hoping they are on the road to success.

Scott Agnew’s new look Blues will rack up the miles this weekend as they travel to Elgin City in the curtain-raiser of another League Two season.

The manager, along with assistant Peter Weatherson, has been busy shaping the squad – with eight players coming in and 10, including loan signings, departing.

Robert H Rice, vice-chairman of the club, described the new season as “a new beginning”.

He said: “This is his first season.

“He has got the players that he wants to get in, he retained 10 of the previous squad, and he must have seen something in the lads.

A heavy defeat at East Fife saw a change in the club’s management

“To be part of the East Fife set up when they had just beaten us 8-0 and to be interested in coming here and saying he had seen the Stranraer team over two or three games during last season and saw enough to know that was a major blip.

“That happens – better teams than us have been beaten 8-0 or 8-1 in games – we did what we felt we had to do.

“Unfortunately, that meant getting rid of Jamie and Darryl and looking for new fresh ideas to take the club into the new season.

“Make no mistake about it, this season is going to be every bit as difficult.

“Dumbarton have strengthened, Stenhousemuir have strengthened, we’ve got an unknown quantity in Spartans, we know that Bonnyrigg are not going to be a pushover for anyone and Elgin on their day could probably be one of the better teams in the league.

“The signings Scott has made will hopefully make a big impact.”

While supporters were able to put Stranraer FC on the backburner when the full time whistle blew following the 1-1 draw with Dumbarton on the last day of the season, it has proven a busy time for many associated with the club.

New manager Scott Agnew has had a busy first summer in charge of the Blues

Agnew, Weatherson and player/coach Scott Robertson have been busy getting the team ready for the new campaign.

Players have been getting up to speed and full fitness ahead of the league getting under way.

And it has been no different for the committee and the many volunteers who do their bit for the club.

Mr Rice said: “There are always things needing done.”

Initiatives such as replacing part of the perimeter wall with a fence, a new buy a brick campaign and other work have all been carried out over the summer.

Now, with the new season under way, Mr Rice encouraged fans – or potential fans – to head along to Stair Park and cheer on the team.

He said: “I’m certainly looking forward to it.

The supporters’ wall at Stair Park has been a big success

“There is not a season goes by or a season that comes into fruition that I don’t look forward to it.

“You have got to look forward to it or there is no point in being there, is there?

“All we are lacking is just a few more numbers through the gate.

“When Scott came in, I think we put 100 on the gate and the next game against Stenhousemuir I think there was another 100 on the gate.

“The committee thank every one that puts their hand in their pocket and comes to watch us.”

Photos: Bill McCandlish