Peebles look to Girdwood to steady the ship

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So far this season, it has been anything but plain sailing for Peebles Rovers.

There have been pitch concerns due to drainage problems, players coming and going, and two managers, Stuart Robertson and Graeme Chadwick, have both departed from the club.

A new team boss, however, is now on board the Peebles ship – and it’s Jason Girdwood’s aim to steer the Whitestone Park outfit from its current raging tides to calmer waters.

Talking to TheSouthern prior to his side’s home meeting with Burntisland Shipyard in an East of Scotland First Division league encounter on Saturday, Girdwood said: “I know the Peebles set-up as I played for them when they gained promotion into the Premier Division a few seasons ago.

“Management is new to me, but I am looking forward to the challenge of trying to turn Rovers around. It will not be a quick fix, though – I am well aware of this – and know it’s going to take time and a lot of hard work.

“I have brought in a new training system and will be working on the player’s fitness.

“I am also bringing in new players and intend building up a squad made up of youth and experience.

“We have got Burntisland on Saturday. I have not seen them play, but have had reports on them and would like to think we could get a win to give us a lift.”

Hawick Royal Albert have a daunting task on their hands when lining up against current East of Scotland champions Stirling University in the South of Scotland Challenge Cup, away from home.

The Albert are without the suspended Ross Brand, Ronald Fleming and Jay Paterek, and skipper Craig Beattie remains on the injured list.

Gala Fairydean are also in South of Scotland Challenge Cup action, facing Craigroyston at St Mark’s Park. With a string of good results behind them, Fairydean are on the warpath at the moment and indeed took the scalp of Premier Division side Edinburgh City in the Image Printers Cup.

Guiding Gala to their recent successful run has been a new managerial team of manager Garry Fraser and his assistants Jim McLean and Davie Gordon.

Reflecting on matters, McLean, who has managed several East of Scotland teams in the past, said: “I have been very impressed with the quality of play, work rate and attitude of the players since I came to Gala. Being an assistant manager is something different for me, but I am enjoying this role and helping Garry, who is the main man.

“Gala played exceptionally well against Edinburgh City and showed a lot of character in coming from behind three times to win. With a performance like that we have to be in with a good chance of beating Craigroyston.”

Greg Hay and Geri Rossi return for Gala.

Selkirk are without Bryan Tait for their trip to Edinburgh to take on Lothian Thistle.

Vale of Leithen host Edinburgh City while Kelso tackle Eyemouth United at home.

z Gala Fairydean’s promotion hopes have been dealt a blow after the East of Scotland League ruled the club would have replay its match with Kelso United due to naming an ineligible player in its squad.

The Netherdale side defeated Kelso 2-1 on September 8, but it was later discovered that unused substitute Dean Boyne was still signed with Selkirk.

Gala boss Garry Fraser said: “It is unfortunate but the good thing is we are a stronger team now, so hopefully we can come away with another win.”