East Stirlingshire have been dealt an injury blow on the eve of the new season with news that midfielder Ross Gilmour will be out for six weeks after suffering a foot injury in last week’s Stirlingshire Cup final.
The former Dundee United and Airdrieonians player ripped a tendon from a bone in his foot early in the second period of the game against Stenhousemuir and is out of this weekend’s Petrofac Training Cup game against The Warriors at Ochilview.
Stenhousemuir are a good side in a higher division and they will give us plenty to think aboutCraig Tully
Gilmour is only one of a number of Shire players to have missed part of the final stretch of pre-season due to injury with Neil McCabe, Billy Vidler and Michael Wallace all giving cause for concern. Had coach, Craig Tully, says it has been far from ideal.
“We have been hit by a number of injuries all at the one time,” he said. “You don’t expect to go into the first game of the season with so many players either ruled out or with injury doubts but it is just one of those things.
“There is no real point worrying about it because there is nothing you can do to get these guys back in the team.”
The question marks over the fitness of a number of his first team squad at least leaves the way open for some of Tully’s younger players to make an early impression.
Shire are moving closer towards bringing in a crop of teenagers to compete in the SPFL Development League East and it may be that some of them may get an early, and unexpected, shot at first team football.
“Andy Kay is one lad who we have high hopes of,” said Tully. “He is in his second season with the under-20s and has played quite a bit in the first team friendlies so far and hasn’t looked out of place.”
Kay scored Shire’s goal in the Stirlingshire Cup final against Stenhousemuir and has looked the part in other games too. Tully says the youngster struggled with his confidence last year but is now once again looking like a prospect.
“With so many injuries right now it’s guys like Andy we may need to call on in these first few matches and the way he has been going in pre-season I wouldn’t have any fears about that.”
The Shire coach can be expected to add a few new signings to his squad ahead of Saturday’s first competitive game of the season against their local rivals.
Despite losing the cup final on a penalty shoot-out he believes Shire should have taken some confidence from their performance.
“Stenhousemuir are a good side in a higher division and they will give us plenty to think about.”