East Stirlingshire sign second Lowland League winner

JP PHOTOSALES'WWW.IANGEORGESONPHOTOGRAPHY.CO.UK'Edinburgh City Vs Stirling Albion 'Edi: Chris McKee'Sti: Andrew Black
JP PHOTOSALES'WWW.IANGEORGESONPHOTOGRAPHY.CO.UK'Edinburgh City Vs Stirling Albion 'Edi: Chris McKee'Sti: Andrew Black

East Stirlingshire have added another member of the Edinburgh City side who deprived the club of its SPFL status to their squad for the upcoming Lowland League season.

Central defender Chris McKee will join striker Ross Allum in Shire colours, a little more than two years after both played for City in the 1-0 victory over Shire in the pyramid play-off final - a game which ended almost a hundred years of league football for the club.

The 28-year-old, who can also play in midfield, is a man head coach John Sludden has had an eye on for some time. The Shire boss this week revealed he would have brought McKee on board almost as soon as he took over the management reins if he had been given the opportunity.

“Chris is a player I have been aware of for about three years. He was playing for Stirling University and it was his performances there that got him a move to Edinburgh City.

“He won the Lowland League with Edinburgh and we have been trying to get him to come to the club for almost two years but he opted instead to stay with City.

“When we got word he might be available we made a move but we had to bide our time and do some persuading. However, we are delighted Chris has agreed to join Shire and we are sure he will be a very positive addition.”

McKee knocked back Sludden’s early attempts to prise him away in a bid to secure a place in the Edinburgh City side who were replacing Shire in League Two. That ambition to play in the senior league was fulfilled, although his playing time was curtailed by injury Sludden, though, says that experience in the SPFL will stand the team in good stead for next term.

“Chris knows about the Lowland League, having played for Stirling University and City and he has played a fair number of League Two games as well, and it’s that kind of quality we will be getting this season.

“He will certainly give us a better balance on the left hand side area and he can play in midfield so there is a bit of versatility there as well.”

McKee wasn’t the only piece of the Shire gaffer’s new-look squad to fall into place in the last few days. Sludden was every bit as delighted to welcome the return of goalkeeper Jamie Barclay for his third Lowland League campaign.

The former Falkirk and Scotland under 21 internationa has become a crucial mainstay for the Shire .

“Jamie is a key player for us, every bit as much as Andy Rodgers and Derek Ure,” said Sludden.

“His experience is vital for us and he is a real character in the dressing room.”