Billy Vidler has added his name to the list of last season’s squad who will be returning to the club for the 2015/16 Labrokes League Two season.
The 18 year-old striker has this week agreed a one year professional contract which will keep him a Shire player until at least June 2016.
The pacy wide player made an instant impact for Shire last season when pressed straight into the first team as a 17 year-old although he did much of his learning in his first season with the club as part of the SPFL Development League East set-up.
“Billy has come on a lot in the last year and we think he deserves the chance to step up to the first team squad,” said head coach Craig Tully. “He certainly has a lot of potential and we can see a big difference in him both on and off the pitch since this time a year ago.”
He is the 12th player to commit to Shire this season for the forthcoming league campaign.
Former Falkirk and Stenhousemuir midfielder Kris Faulds has completed the signing of a one year contract with the club.
The 20 year-old joins Shire having been released by Stenhousemuir at the end of last season. Kris was invited to pre-season training by head coach Craig Tully and it only took the coaching staff a few sessions to offer the player the chance to join.
Kris is a product of the successful Falkirk Academy and was part of the Bairns’ first team squad while still a teenager. A short loan spell at Stenhousemuir was followed by a permanent move to the Ochilview club last season, and although he played a good number of League 1 matches last season, Kris could not find a regular start with the Warriors.
He now wants the opportunity to get a consistent run at first team football and is pleased to be joining the club.
“I am delighted to get the chance,” said Kris. “It was a challenging year at Stenhousemuir but now I am looking to get more games under my belt here and do the very best I can for the club.
“I’m hoping to get into the team at the earliest opportunity and then do enough to maintain my position throughout the year. Stenhousemuir had quite a young team last year and I think they wanted a bit more experience.
“But from what I see at this club there is a good balance between that youth and experience and I hope I can add to that.”
Kris brings to 13 the number of players in Shire’s first team squad who have committed for the 2015/16 season.
Shire’s first preseason friendly ended in a narrow defeat to a young Partick Thistle side at Grangemouth Stadium, but in truth, the result was never the important thing. All the Shire players came off without any injuries, and Craig Tully will be pleased by several trialists pressing their case for a contract. It was one of the trialists, D, who put Shire in front early on in the first half before Partick equalised when a scramble in the Shire box allowed Dominic Doherty to score.
Craig Tully made eight changes at half-time, but this did not blunt Shire’s attacking play. But half-way through the second half, Partick took the lead Dominic McLaren headed in from a corner. Shire couldn’t find an equaliser, although they did come close when a trialist striker C hit the post before David McKenna had his follow-up shot blocked.
Next up for Shire is a game away to Forfar on the 11th July.
Shire had the first chance of the match when Chris Townsley’s deep cross was cleared to Trialist D whose shot was blocked by Max Wright.
Partick showed their threat soon after. Dominic Docherty’s free-kick picked out Michael McMullin, but his header was easily saved by Richie Barnard. Then Dominic McLaren’s long ball picked out Trialist J who turned his marker, but his shot was superbly saved by Barnard.
But then Shire took the lead. Michael Wallace’s cross was left by the Partick defence which allowed Trialist D to score.
Shire could have doubled their lead soon after when Townsley headed over from Wright’s corner. Wright then tried his luck from long range and his effort went narrowly wide of the right post.
The visitors had a couple of chances from just outside the box. Firstly Michael McMullin’s right-footed shot went well wide before Neil McLaughlin also saw his shot miss the target.
And then Partick equalised. Trialist I’s cut-back picked out Trialist K whose shot was blocked, but in the preceding scramble, Docherty fired the ball into the net.
They came close to taking the lead soon after when Trialist I made space in the box, but his shot was caught by Barnard.
Shire ended the first half strongly. Trialist A chested a cross before volleying over before Townsley headed over from a corner. And then Townsley went close from a 25 yard free-kick with the ball just going over.
Despite Shire starting the second half strongly, winning three corners, Partick had the first chance, but Docherty’s weak shot was easily saved by Barnard.
Trialist D came close to his second from a long range effort which was made to look closer by the way Connor Cullen dived.
Shire’s Trialist keeper, who had come on at half-time, nearly helped Partick score a second as Trialist J beat the keeper to the ball who then prodded the ball towards the goal, but Reece Donaldson was there to clear the ball off the line.
McLaughlin’s 25-yard shot was deflected behind for the corner that Partick took the lead. Trialist I’s corner picked out Dominic McLaren to headed the ball past the keeper.
Shire responded strongly with Lloyd Kinnaird’s cross picking out David McKenna, but his header was saved by Cullen. Then Neil McCabe launched a counter running at the Partick box, picking out TrialistC who cut the ball back across the box. Trialist C saw his shot hit the post before McKenna saw his shot blocked behind for a corner.
Then Shire’s Trialist keeper’s long ball picked out McKenna in Partick’s box, who controlled the ball but his shot was blocked by Cullen’s legs. And then the last chance of the game came when Jon Tully headed over from Billy Vidler’s corner.
Shire: Barnard (Trialist E), Gilmour (Trialist G 72), Townsley (Donaldson HT), Greene (Jon Tully HT), Shepherd (Trialist F HT), Trialist A (McCabe HT), Trialist B (Vidler HT), Wallace (Kinnaird HT), Wright (McKenna HT), Trialist D, Trialist C.
Goal: Trialist D 14.
Partick Thistle U20: Walters (Cullen HT), McInally, McLaren, Trialist H, McMullin, Trialist I, McCarty, Docherty, McLaughlin, Trialist K (Lamont 76), Trialist J.
Goals: Docherty 28, McLaren 66.
Subs Not Used: Trialist L.