Stenhousemuir wont dip in to lower league loan market but Shire are open to suitable offers

Stenhousemuir manager Davie Irons says they looked into the possibility of signing players on loan from lower league sides but weren’t able to strike any deals.

Monday, 22nd March 2021, 12:27 pm
East Stirlingshire defender Sean Brown (left) has moved up two divisions to join League 1 East Fife on loan until the end of the season or the Lowland League resumes play

Clubs in the Lowland League are still not able to play or participate in full contact training while clubs in League 1 and League 2 are looking to bolster their squads to help cope with their hectic fixture schedules.

East Fife made the most prominent deal of this type when they brought in former Falkirk striker Nathan Austin from Kelty Hearts, who scored on his return to the SPFL in the Fifer’s 3-1 win at Clyde.

East Stirlingshire’s Sean Brown has also joined the Bayview club on a loan deal from which he can be recalled should Lowland League clubs get the go ahead to resume.

Stenny’s League 2 rivals Stirling Albion also dipped in to the lower divisions as they brought in former SPFL players Jordan Kirkpatrick, Daryll Meggat and Jordan Allan on loan from West of Scotland side Darvel after their season was declared null and void.

However, Irons says their were a number of issues which made striking a deal difficult including the Warriors having to cover the full cost of players wages with some Lowland League players earning significant amounts.

He said: “We had a look down the leagues to see if any players might be able to join us on loan but there were uncertainties about the length of time they could move for.

"These players, the likes of Nathan Austin with Kelty, need to be back if they get approval to start playing again.

"We did look at a couple of players but there were issues like having to cover their full wage and some of these boys are on high wages.

"We've decided what we have at the moment is enough to get us where we need to be.”

Over at East Stirlingshire, manager Derek Ure praised East Fife for the way they went about getting a deal in place to have defender Sean Brown join them on loan.

Ure says the Fifers were “top class” in the way they went about their business and says he is open to similar moves for other Shire players but stressed they had to be right for his club and the player.

He said: “Sean Brown is on loan at East Fife and there are other teams who have enquired about players but they've mucked about a bit and offered nothing concrete which is unfair to the players.

"We just have to wait and see what happens at our end, hopefully there will be something decided in regards to our season and we can get back playing.

"If we start back we can recall these players, I think that's the option all clubs sending out players on loan have.

"It helps these clubs and lets our guys play at this time and if we get the green light to go ahead these players will come back in good fitness.

"I got a call from Tony McMinn, the assistant manager and East Fife, and they were different class in the way they went about their business.

"The deal was done quickly and there were no problems and everybody potentially gains from this deal.

"For Sean it gives him an opportunity to play at a really good level, we've no doubt he and plenty of our other players can play at that level.

"It's good for the Lowland League as a whole to see these players step up, the standard is very high at this moment in this time.

"Sean was probably pleasantly surprised and it's good for him to get the go ahead to go back. East Fife were quite specific with the type of player they were looking for and had obviously done their homework so it was all very straightforward.

"At this moment in time we aren't having any other discussions but if someone came in with an acceptable offer that worked out for all parties we'd be open to it.

"We wouldn't let clubs just take our players with no clauses unless they could come back if we get the go ahead to play,

"The players understand the situation and we're not being hard to deal with, it has to be right for all parties and for us it has to be best for East Stirlignshire while also doing our best to look after each one of our players.”