The hard work of preparing for the new season continued after the full-time whistle blew on Saturday’s 5-0 friendly win over East Region Junior Superleague team Penicuik Athletic.
Club officials quickly made moves to sign the two trialists who played the second half of the game and that means former Falkirk player Cameron Hogg and ex-Stirling Albion man, Craig Comrie, who scored the fourth goal at Penicuik Park, will be Shire players this season.
Comrie played 26 matches for League 2 Albion last season and made more than 60 appearances in total for the Forthbank men since graduating from Falkirk FC’s successful youth academy.
Shire coach John Sludden was pleased overall with the team’s display against the junior side, their final practice run before Tuesday night’s Betfred Cup trip to Stranraer.
“It’s all part of the preparation,” he said afterwards. “The good things were scoring five goals and keeping a clean sheet and the 90 minutes which a few of the boys needed and which they got.
“All-in-all it was good preparation for Tuesday .”
The Shire coach says he’s looking forward to the start of competitive action, although the change in format of the League Cup to four team sections does give scope for further experimentation.
“I’ve even heard Premier League managers say they are going to treat these games almost as an extension of pre-season,” said John. “A few of the guys probably do still need some playing time but they are just going to have to go into Tuesday night with what they have.”
It’ll certainly be tough for Shire who will have to follow a trip to Stranraer on Tuesday with a home game against Rangers on Friday.
The coach says that could turn out to be a positive.
“It’s almost like a pre-season schedule,” he said. “That’s the kind of thing you do in pre-season.
“But we looked sharp (against Penicuik) and we also played well against Ayr United which was pleasing, so we will just need to be ready for these games.”
The victory over Penicuik was completed with two goals from new striker David Grant and two more from returning front man, Jamie Glasgow. Jamie is enjoying things with Shire second time around.
“It was an easy decision to make to return,” said Jamie. “It’s good to be back and see some of the same familiar faces and get a warm welcome. Training’s been good and I’m looking forward to the season and it’s great to get back among the goals as well.”
Although the coaching staff are new to the club, Jamie says he is very familiar with the methods of head coach John Sludden, who is no stranger to the striker.
“I worked with John at youth level and at Camelon as well,” he said. “I like his philosophy of playing football and it’s good to play under him. It’s given me confidence to get on the ball and make things happen.”