Stenhousemuir striker Andy Rodgers reckons that experience will be the key to next season’s Division Two title race.
The 28-year-old is one of several players who have signed new deals that will keep them at Ochilview for the 2012/13 campaign.
Senior pros Brown Ferguson, Kevin McKinlay and hitman Rodgers have all put pen to paper in the past fortnight, and will team up again with the likes of Sean Dickson and Eric Paton who are already under contract.
The Stenny striker is confident that this “experienced core” will prove crucial to future success of the club.
“Division Two can be a tough league for clubs with young squads,” he told Heraldsport.
“The gaffer has managed to keep the experienced core of the squad and I think that will make a big difference.”
Local lad Rodgers was satisfied with his own contribution last season after finding the net 17 times.
He was a regular in the Warriors team that started the season in splendid fashion only to see their promotion hopes fade after a dire loss of form in the new year.
Now the hitman is looking forward to a new season at Ochilview after rejecting the chance of a move elsewhere.
“I had a few offers from other clubs at the end of the season, but I already knew that I wanted to stay at Stenny. I’d spoke to the gaffer before the season ended about a new contract. Obviously at that time we didn’t know which division we would be in.
“It was disappointing to miss out the on the play-offs. We started the season well but fell away after Christmas. We missed some players through injury and suspension at crucial moments of the season.
“Next season we’ll be looking for a top four finish at the minimum. I think to miss out last season was a disappointment - to do so again would have to be classed as a failure.
“Ayr United and Queen of the South are obviously now in Division Two, but I think the club that could do well are Alloa. But we are more than capable of beating anyone on our day.”