McKinlay says new Warriors will be ‘oche’

McKinlay is impressed with the latest additions to the Stenhousemuir squad
McKinlay is impressed with the latest additions to the Stenhousemuir squad

Kevin McKinlay says he wants Stenhousemuir’s new signings to be talented in two sports - football, and darts.

The oche at Ochilview has become vital to the Warriors’ team-bonding sessions and the former Chelsea defender can’t wait to play his new team-mates John Gemmell, Greg Ross and Bryan Hodge.

He’s in confident mood after fellow arrows enthusiast Willie Lyle left the club over the summer.

“The darts in the dressing room is brilliant for keeping the morale up at Stenhousemuir - and obviously I’m one of the better players. Andy Rodgers likes to play as well. I enjoy winning against him.

“But it’s a shame Skip (Willie Lyle) left over the summer because he was one of my only challengers.

“I should maybe speak to the gaffer and ask for him to sign some new darts players - give me a bit of a challenge,” he joked.

“The guys all get in to training early for a bit of banter and a few games. It gets quite competitive but it’s a good laugh. It’s a good way of team bonding.”

And he’s sure the new signings made by management team Davie Irons and Kevin McGoldrick will do okay on the oche and slot in at Ochilview.

“All the new guys brought in have a good bit of experience, and it is important to bring a few of the squad back.

“Thommo (Iain Thomson) signing on is a big boost, same with Andy Rodgers - and not only for the darts.

“It’s important to keep your best players and that’s what I think the club has done.

“We were gutted to come so close to the play-offs and miss out. We have to make sure we get there this season and the signings that we’ve made to add to the squad tell me we’re serious about making it.

“We should have done it last year, but this time we must.”

McKinlay had a difficult year last term with a broken collar bone and illness keeping him out the team, but he was happy to sign on again.

“I had a few other offers and a chance to go back to Ireland but they weren’t right for me.

“I’m settled here with my wife and kids, it’s a good club.

“And obviously I wouldn’t want to leave and let Andy Rodgers rule the dressing room dartboard either - it’s a great dressing room at Stenny.”