Shire welcome fans to training

Shire will share their first training session with the fans
Shire will share their first training session with the fans

Craig Tully is set to use the appliance of science to get his East Stirlingshire players as prepared as they possibly can be for the start of the new season.

The Shire boss has enlisted the help of a top sports scientist to prepare a programme for pre-season aimed at getting his squad in tip-top condition for the new campaign.

Tully is one of the first bosses in Scotland to demand a return to action with his players reporting for duty to Little Kerse for the first day of pre-season training on Saturday, barely five weeks after their final game of the old season.

And they can expect a mixture of the old and the new in their regime between now and the official start of the season on 26th July with Tully promising some tough physical work outs as well as time to concentrate on skills and working together as an effective team.

The Shire squad currently sits at 13 players who have either signed or committed to joining the club for the new season and Tully will bring in some trialists to see how they perform.

The first day back will also be a chance for fans to join in as the club turns the return into an open day.

Supporters are being encouraged to come down to Little Kerse between 10 a.m. and 3p.m. for a day of activities.

“We are hoping as many Shire fans as possible will come down to watch the team train,” said chairman Tony Ford. “We will be launching our new away strip with fans getting the first chance to see what that looks like and buy replicas as well.

“There will be a Q&A session with the coaches, a chance to mingle informally with the players for photos and autographs, we will have season tickets on sale and directors on hand to answer any questions people have.

“We want to create a family atmosphere at the club,” said Ford. “By hosting an event of this type we are hoping to break down barriers that may exist. We are saying to the fans, ‘this is your club and you should feel part of it”.

He has been hugely impressed with the amount of work put in by the new coaching staff in the short period they have been at the club and is looking forward to the start of the new campaign just as much as any of the club’s supporters.

However, he says the amount of effort and sheer hard work required to keep the club moving forward does not get any less. That said, the Shire chairman is delighted his new coaching staff share his own work ethic.

“Money is still tight and every pound remains the proverbial prisoner,” he said. “But the way Craig and his coaching team have gone about re-shaping the playing staff has been very impressive.

“I hope others are starting to take notice of the signings we have made because I think they are genuinely exciting. The squad remains a work in progress but a large part of the work has already been done and I believe we should all look forward to the new season with some optimism,” said the Shire chairman.

The first team squad is still some players short and Tully and his coaching staff are actively looking to see what’s available.

“He’s adopting a very sensible approach of waiting and looking to see what’s out there,” said Ford. “Every year players are out there chasing contracts and getting more and more anxious the longer time goes by.”

Away from the first team, Shire have the chance of landing some silverware this weekend. The club’s under-15 community team is through to their League Cup final on Sunday and the Shire chairman is asking fans to turn out and support their kids.

“The game is at Alloa’s Recreation Park on Sunday with a 2:30pm start and it would be great to see some of the fans go along to lend encouragement,” he said.