New Peebles Rovers boss Dave Kinross looking up table rather than down

New Peebles Rovers manager Dave Kinross is confident of keeping the East of Scotland Football League first division conference B side clear of whatever size of relegation zone is created by a rejig being lined up for later in the year.

By Craig Goldthorp
Friday, 25th March 2022, 2:05 pm
Updated Monday, 28th March 2022, 11:01 am
New Peebles Rovers boss Dave Kinross
New Peebles Rovers boss Dave Kinross

Kinross, 51, replaces Michael Wilson, now at Scottish Lowland Football League basement side Vale of Leithen.

Kinross had been Rovers’ assistant manager for two seasons and coached West Lothian outfit Blackburn United’s under-20s previously.

He will be assisted by Ger Rossi, himself a former manager at Whitestone Park, and the 33-year-old, previously at Vale of Leithen and Gala Fairydean Rovers, will also continue playing.

New Peebles Rovers assistant manager Ger Rossi

Kinross took interim charge for Rovers’ last two games and will be full-time gaffer for the first time for tomorrow’s away league game at Luncarty.

Peebles are currently 12th in the 15-team table with 19 points from as many games, 11 points better off than basement side Hawick Royal Albert United, after an up-and-down campaign, with their new manager acknowledging that fact but also feeling optimistic that they can improve in future weeks.

“I think we’ve suffered a bit with inconsistency,” Kinross told the Southern Reporter.

“We had a good run between July and November, but I think we’ve had a bit of inconsistency since then.

“What we’re looking to do is just renew some of the foundations and the fundamentals.

“We’re trying to consolidate and go on another positive run.

“We’re asking the players to get the work-rate and the intensity up, both at training and in games, and that will give us a really solid foundation that will allow us to improve.

“There are certainly some winnable games between now and the end of the season, so we want to really go on a run and finish positively, and that will set us up for next year.

“I think we are well enough clear of a relegation battle, though we are not entirely sure how many teams will be going down because of reconstruction.

“There is almost an interim position in the league with a conference below the two first division conferences.

“I think that the top half of our league will play in a league above next season and we will settle into an intermediate tier.”

Kinross, who has lived in Edinburgh or West Lothian his whole life, played football as a young man but a bad achilles injury forced his hand into getting involved in coaching sooner than expected.

He told us: “My coaching background is in the academies at Celtic, from 2011 to 2013, and Hearts, from 2013 to 2015, and then I was the head of academy recruitment at Livingston from 2015 to 2017.

“I was with Michael Wilson at Craigroyston, then took Blackburn under-20s with another guy for two-and-a-half years.

“I think the average age at Peebles Rovers is probably one of the youngest in the East of Scotland Football League.

“Young players surprise you all the time. We’ve got a couple of 17-year-olds who don’t look out of place at all.

“I think if a player is open-minded, they can very quickly learn and very quickly get up to speed with the physical requirements of the league, so I won’t hesitate in putting young players in, but I think in the league it’s great to have a balance.

“My assistant Ger will be playing. He is a local lad and I think his influence and experience is fantastic for the players on the park.”