SINCE leaving his post as Gala Fairydean’s assistant manager back in July, Garry Fraser has had some time to take a step back and look at things from a more retrospective angle, writes Fiona Scott.
And he obviously liked what he saw – this week the 33-year-old has rejoined the club he has dedicated his time to over the last decade or so and signed up to take the team forward in his new role as manager.
Fraser left the club during the summer due to personal reasons, but has agreed to come back and fill the gap left by Fraser Lothian, who quit the post at the end of August.
Fraser said: “I had to sit down and have a long, hard think about whether I would like to do the job, but at the end of the day it was a fairly easy decision. I am delighted to be back at the club that means so much to me.
“I’m in it for the long haul and want to bring success back to the club.”
Fraser was instrumental in setting up the Gala Fairydean Youths squad back in 2002 and has been a main player in the steady progress of the senior team, along with Lothian and Ally McCulloch, over the last three seasons. One of his main aims is to clear the final hurdle and make the leap back up to the East of Scotland Premier Division.
Helping Fraser reach his goal will be former Berwick Rangers and Hawick Royal Albert coach Jim McLean, whose wealth of experience within the East of Scotland circles should prove valuable to the Netherdale club.
Chairman Joss Ritchie formerly welcomed the duo on board on Monday night and is delighted to have his new team in place in time for this weekend’s South Challenge Cup tie against Heriot Watt University at Riccarton.
Ritchie said: “I think we have an excellent partnership in place now to take the team forward.”
Peebles Rovers also have a new manager in place. Former Hawick Royal Albert assistant coach Graeme Chadwick took over at the helm following Stuart Robertson’s departure last week and with current coach Owen Murphy as his assistant, saw the team go down 2-1 to Burntisland Shipyard in the Image Printers Cup.
Having viewed the game from the bench, Chadwick told TheSouthern: “I will assess things in training and the next few games to see what needs to be done.”
Chadwick was sacked as second in command at Hawick at the beginning of the month following a spate of minor disagreements with manager Lawrie Dunn.
The former Easthouses Lily player said at the time: “I was shocked to get a phone call from Lawrie telling me I was finished with the club. No reason was actually given, although we have been having our differences.
“I wasn’t happy with some issues at training and I wasn’t getting a say in team selection.”
A new assistant manager will be unveiled in the coming weeks, but in the meantime Albert striker Kris O’Neil has taken over as interim assistant.
This weekend, Peebles travel to play Leith Athletic in the first round of the South Cup.
Vale of Leithen are also involved in cup action and welcome Ormiston to Victoria Park.
Selkirk face a tough challenge when they play league leaders Coldstream at Home Park in an East of Scotland First Division clash, while Royal Albert play host to Eyemouth United.