Bairns keepers will not be kept

Robert Olejnik and Michael Andrews are leaving Falkirk
Robert Olejnik and Michael Andrews are leaving Falkirk

Falkirk’s goalkeeping trio have been told it’s time to move on.

But boss Steven Pressley is already making moves to beef up his back-line and secure a defensive lynchpin for the heart of next season’s Bairns team.

That’s after 15 players were told their contracts wouldn’t be extended.

First choice Robert Olejnik plus Scotland under-21s Jamie Barclay and Michael Andrews, will not have new deals.

As expected, Burton O’Brien and Pedro Moutinho will move on after Saturday’s match, and they’ll be joined out the exit door by defenders Mehdi Khalis, James Bloom, Brian McLean, Kieran Stallard and Euen Grant plus loanee Ross Perry.

Midfielders Chris Mitchell and Craig McLeish plus Carl Finnigan and Tam McManus are moving on - however McManus could be offered a new deal if finances can be stretched.

With 14 contracted players moving on it leaves Pressley’s squad threadbare in the extreme but a new goalkeeper and defenders are a priority with nine of the Bairns’ back-line departing.

Unless a keeper is secured, under-17 Graham Bowman will be between the sticks.

“It has been a difficult few days,” Pressley told Heraldsport. “A lot of big decisions are being made at the club, but I must work within the finances of the club - and they’re incredibly difficult at the moment.

“The club needs new investment, but I now have a big summer of wheeling and dealing to come.”

He also stressed what’s been missing from his team this season - adding to comments after Saturday’s game.

“We need aggression and leadership in the team. It’s not enough to have that in one or two areas, I want that throughout the team.”

Talks have been held to bring Darren Dods to Falkirk and provide the desired leadership but Heraldsport has also learned Inverness defender Grant Munro is another player, in a similar mould, being courted by the club.

The Caley defender has been told his contract will not be renewed at the Highland club.

Both Olejnik and Andrews are in similar positions but were keen to stress nothing had been set in stone yet.

Olejnik, who won this year’s Starshot award for the Bairns, said: “I’ll sit down with my agent after a week out and take things from there, I know there are a lot of rumours around.

“I know I just want to get the last game against Dunfermline done - that’s all I’m concentrating on.

“It doesn’t really concern me, something will come up - nothing’s been decided yet and I’m not thinking about it yet.”

Andrews, who spent this season with East Stirlingshire, added: “I’ve worked with nine great keepers here and learned so much.

“It’s just a waiting game now though. If I leave the club, I have the Scotland under-21s coming up in August so need to keep myself ticking over for that regardless of what happens.”

The only contract on offer is to striker Mark Stewart.