Shire boss Coughlin arranges trial match

John Coughlin is looking forward to his new challenge
John Coughlin is looking forward to his new challenge
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John Coughlin is looking forward to putting faces to names when he meets up with his East Stirlingshire squad for the first time on Saturday.

The new Shire boss will put the players through their paces in a specially-arranged closed-door match to get an idea of the abilities of the players who have agreed to come back for another season.

It will also give Coughlin the chance to bring in some trialists who he hopes might fit the bill as he aims to re-shape the squad.

“I have contacted a few players and invited them in,” he said. “We will have to look at as many as we can because there will be a big change around in the squad from last season.

“I have also spoken to the directors about the players we already have and they have given me some good information but I really need to see the guys in action.”

Coughlin is already starting to form an opinion about the kind of player he will have to bring in for next season, partly, he admits, out of the constraints placed by the club’s financial situation.

“The board have laid it on the line that there won’t be a lot of money to spend,” he said. “But we can turn that into a positive. If we get a bunch of lads from the local area we can turn them into a tight-knit group and that will certainly help team spirit.

“We need players who are fit and fast and primarily young, although I realise we need some older heads in there as well to help build a solid spine to the team.”

Coughlin has been putting his nights to good use, watching junior and under-21 matches in an attempt to scout players for his new-look squad.

He says he is not in the position to discount any avenue for finding players.

“We will have some good quality trialists with us on Saturday,” he said. “And we will continue to look at players who want an opportunity to play at this level. There will be a lot of guys looking for a club and we will bide our time.”