Swift looking to create a new identity at Stenhousemuir

Stenhousemuir manager Stephen Swift says he is looking to create a new identity at Ochilview as players return for pre-season training.

Wednesday, 9th June 2021, 8:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 9th June 2021, 1:29 pm
Stenhousemuir manager Stephen Swift (Pic: Dave Johnston)

The Warriors have overhauled their first-team squad, with 14 new recruits being brought in by the former BSC Glasgow boss.

It’s been hard working getting the deals over the line for Swift and he says that’s only half the battle as it’s now down to him to get those players to buy into the ambitions he and the club have and the identity he wants to create for Stenhousemuir.

Speaking to the Herald ahead of their first training session on Tuesday, he said: “If you'd said to me three or four weeks ago we'd maybe be looking for just two players going into pre-season, I'd have bitten your hand off.

“It has gone really well, but it’s been a lot of work. We’ve met a lot of players and we feel as if we’ve sold the club and our ambition and the guys have bought into it.

“What I'm more concerned about is getting my 21-man squad in place and going from there. The quicker the recruitment is over the better.

“We want to bring in two more, a centre-back and another forward, then we’ll maybe look at one or two young loanees to bolster the squad.

“Last year, I think the club had four or five players come in from Hibs, but I’d be aiming to bring in just one or two as I think it will be better for those players’ development as a whole.

“They will have a better chance of developing with an established squad around them.”

There has been more than one impressive coup amongst the 14 new recruits that Swift has brought to Ochilview, but the one that has really got people talking is defender Sean Crighton, appointed club captain upon his signing.

Swift made comparisons to another former Warriors skipper when discussing the 31-year-old centre-back.

He said “It’s a huge signing for us. Right from the the very start, he was the one we wanted.

“When I was at BSC, the biggest signing I ever made was ex-Stenny captain Ross McMillan. I went out and said that's the kind of player we need to attract.

“He was a huge part of our success, and it is the same idea as you go up the levels, guys who have done it at this level and have that experience of winning league which Sean has done with two League 1 titles.”

Also amongst the new faces is striker Thomas Orr a player Swift knows very well.

“I've known him since he was ten years old and he's a boy who is dedicated and wants to make name for himself in the professional game.

“Those are the types of guys we look for, the ones who are doing everything right off the pitch as well as on it, and we feel Thomas has the potential to go all the way. Hopefully, we can give him a platform to do that and work his way up the leagues. Hopefully, he can do that at Stenhousemuir.

“We think we’ve got a good blend of experience and youth in, and now we need to go and make it gel and create an identity and system that’s recognisable to Stenhousemuir with my personality and the way I like teams to play.”