Loan deals announced as Berwick Rangers rebuild squad after exodus of senior players
Defender David Ferguson is the latest to leave as a result of the financial crisis revealed by Rangers last month, the 27-year-old having joined Scottish Lowland Football League table-toppers East Kilbride, 1-0 victors against Berwick at Shielfield Park on Saturday gone, on a permanent deal for an undisclosed fee.
Initially a trialist, Ferguson signed for Rovers in November 2020 and has since made 79 appearances, scoring six goals.
“The club are sad to see Ferguson depart but, having received an offer from East Kilbride and from speaking to David, it became clear that a move away, and closer to his family, would be mutually beneficial,” said a club spokesperson.
“All at Berwick Rangers wish David the very best and thank him for his efforts and performances while at the club.”
His departure follows those of striker Liam Buchanan to Bonnyrigg Rose on loan until January, with a permanent deal to follow, and fellow defenders Blair Sneddon, to Stranraer on loan, and Michael Travis, to Bo’ness United on a permanent contract.
Arriving to help manager Stuart Malcolm fill the gaps left by those outgoings are loan signings Scott Bright and Joe Ellison from St Johnstone and Andrew Gaffney from St Mirren.
Bright, 17, was captain of Saints’ under-18 sides and plays mostly at left-back and Ellison, also 17, is a centre-back.
Midfielder Gaffney, 19, has one Scotland cap at under-17 level to his name.
All three new boys were named as substitutes for Saturday’s game, with Bright and Gaffney both making their debuts.
That match was decided by a 25th-minute goal for the visitors from Marc Kelly but Berwick felt they were denied two clear-cut penalties, their protests earning red cards for Malcolm and assistant manager Dean Shanks.
Saturday’s defeat, their fourth of the season, leaves Rangers tenth in the table, with 16 points from a dozen fixtures. East Kilbride remain unbeaten, having won nine of their games so far and drawn the other two.
Malcolm said afterwards: “We can’t fault the players in terms of their application and their effort.
“In the first half, we contained them pretty well, with probably a wee lapse of concentration for the goal.
“In the second half, I thought we gave as good as we got.”
Welcoming Gaffney, Bright and Ellison to Northumberland, the 44-year-old added: “The last two weeks have been challenging.
“Getting a squad ready for Saturday was particularly difficult but we managed with help from some friends that we know at St Johnstone and St Mirren, so we thank them very much because it is a massive help.”
Berwick are away to Musselburgh Athletic this coming Saturday in the South Region Challenge Cup’s third round, with kick-off at 3pm.