Shire boss Sludden signs new one year deal

Shire boss John Sludden (pic: Alan Murray)
Shire boss John Sludden (pic: Alan Murray)
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East Stirlingshire head coach John Sludden has agreed a one-year contract extension that will keep him at the club until the end of the 2017/18 season.

The former Camelon Juniors boss arrived at the club in the summer at a painful moment for Shire just as they became the first SPFL club ejected from the league after losing the pyramid play-off final.

He was given an initial one year deal and set the task of rebuilding the team and getting them back into League 2 by winning the Lowland League and the play-off.

Things haven’t been perfect for Sludden and Shire remain ten points behind Lowland League leaders East Kilbride. But, despite that, the club’s directors have moved quickly to ensure the coach gets a longer shot at reviving their fortunes.

“I’m delighted,” he said of the chance to extend his stay at the club. “From day one, when we came in the board have been fantastic with us. Everything we have asked for in terms of help they have done their best to provide.

“We have brought the players here who have bought in to where we want to go and the supporters have been great to us as well.”

But Sludden accepts that instant change is hard to bring about, and although he is not giving up on getting Shire back into League 2 next term, he knows as well that change needs time to bring about.

“It was a re-build when we came in,” he said. “We weren’t making excuses but we knew it would take time and we are gradually getting there. Everyone, I think, can see that there is progress but there is also still room for improvement.

“It was a brand new team and it was going to take time for everyone to get to know one another, it also took time to get across to the players how we wanted the game to be played so the fact that we have been given another season is great for us.”

On Saturday Shire go to Vale of Leithen who, until last weekend, were the only team to have taken points from Shire at Ochilview this term.

Shire fans heading to Innerleithen should note the game has a 2pm kick-off as the home side do not have floodlights. The Shire Supporters Club is running transport and anyone who wants to book a seat should call Sandy Nimmo on 07803 708119.