Blue Brazil provide first test for Rovers

Gala Fairydean Rovers kick off their pre-season friendlies with a visit from League One outfit Cowdenbeath to Netherdale this Saturday.

It will be Colin Nish’s first game as the Blue Brazil’s player-manager after the resignation of Jimmy Nicholl following relegation from the SPFL Championship last season.

Ex-Hibs and Kilmarnock striker Nish and Gala boss Steven Noble got to know each other two years ago on their UEFA B-Licence course at Largs.

Noble said: “We met up again on the A-Licence course in the summer when he got the job and I was instantly at him for a friendly and he has agreed to bring his team down for Saturday. This is a good opportunity to get a competitive game behind us.

“It will be a real fitness test, although it would have been ideal if we had got a friendly game under our belts last weekend.”

Gala confirmed five new signings over the weekend in ex-Selkirk pair Darly Burdett and Sean Guiney, Ryan Grant, Ryan Clapperton and Taylor Hope, who join up with the nucleus of last season’s squad. But Noble is still looking to add to his squad before the Lowland League campaign gets under way on Saturday, August 1, with a trip to Preston Athletic.

Fairydean Rovers were meant to be in action last Saturday against East of Scotland League Eye-mouth United, but a morning monsoon made Warner Park unplayable.

So the visit of Cowdenbeath’s first-team squad will be a tough baptism to the Netherdale men’s pre-season build-up.

Gala supporters of an older generation will never forget Cowdenbeath’s last visit to Netherdale 33 years ago. Back on Wednesday, February 3, 1982, the Braw Lads triumphed 3-2 in a Scottish Cup second round replay, thanks to goals from Ged Mather, Alan Notman and Fraser Lothian.

For this Saturday’s friendly, Premier Club cards do not apply. Admission is £5 for adults, £3 for OAPs, and children under 16 go free if accompanied by an adult.

Kick off at the 3G Arena on Saturday is 3pm.