SAUCHIE manager Fraser Duncan has backed his players to shine this season  – as he sung their praises following football’s return. 

The Reds were back in action on Saturday in their first training session since the game was placed into lockdown by the Covid-19 pandemic in March. 

The meeting, a light workout at Beechwood Park, also gave many of Duncan’s new 
recruits the chance to meet their team-mates. 

READ MORE: Sauchie Juniors chairman Karl Rennie delight at plans to welcome fans back to Beechwood

Sauchie wasted little time in overhauling the squad when their Premier Division future was secured with the likes of Sam Collumbine and Danny Smith bolstering the Reds’ ranks. 

Meanwhile, stalwarts of the club, including both Stevie and Darren Dolan, moved on in the summer while Jordan Wright was among those not offered a new deal. 

Duncan said: “It was a bit strange to see the guys and we are having to follow certain 

“But, it worked out pretty well and we were really well organised. 

“That’s credit to Karl [Rennie, club chairman] and the rest of the committee for their hard work.

“We can’t really get training moving the way we want to yet but it is great as it gives the players a chance to get to know one another.” 

Duncan continued: “We just had a few wee small-sided games, a fair bit of running, and getting to know each other. 

“It was great and the squad is looking really good.

“I feel as if we have massive amounts of competition and there are a few wee surprises in there who will set the heather on fire this season. 

“There are boys with a point to prove and I am very excited and looking forward to the season starting.

Alloa and Hillfoots Advertiser: Sauchie chairman Karl Rennie Sauchie chairman Karl Rennie

“It will all be a bit better once we have a final date for when the first league games are.

“We are well organised and we have got ourselves going and we just need to keep it going. 

“The last wee while has been massive for us and we are ready to take the next step.”

Meanwhile, East of Scotland chiefs have pledged to try to complete a full fixture list this season. 

While the Highland League has opted to halve its campaign, it is still hoped the Premier Division will see out all home and away ties. 

League bosses have already taken the decision to suspend the domestic cups – except the South Challenge Cup and King Cup – and say all options remain on the table. 

In a statement, EofS bosses said: “A minor exchange of comments occurring on our Twitter feed, concerning the possibility of a halved league campaign for 2020/21 prompted contact from our esteemed fixture secretary Kenny McLean, keen to clear up any potential misunderstandings or misinterpretations.

READ MORE: East of Scotland League bosses warn clubs breaking lockdown rules

“The original tweet, courtesy of a Lowland League club representative, suggested other leagues were likely to follow in the Highland League’s footsteps by announcing league fixtures would be halved in number, in order to accommodate the circumstances with which we all have to contend at present. 

“The opportunity was taken to state in response that this concept has not been officially discussed by our league’s board, and though nothing could be ruled out with certainty at this stage it certainly ought not to be considered a ‘likelihood’. [McLean] states that the plan as it stands is for other pyramid leagues to prioritise league fixtures when hopefully we have the go-ahead to restart.”