A season, which began with an unusually high degree of optimism, has now drawn to a close with a widely held belief that regrettably the team did not consistently manage to maintain the standards it showed it was capable of in the first half of the campaign. That said, there were, of course, several high points in the season, notably the cup wins over Hibernian, Dundee and Rangers and it is important that we do recognise and applaud these terrific achievements for a club of our size and limited resources.


This week, the Board of Directors has met with our management team to review the campaign just ended, to identify what lessons have been learned and to agree the way forward as the club continues its preparations for next season’s highly competitive Championship. It was a full and frank exchange of views, as you might expect.

Grant Murray, Paul Smith and Laurie Ellis were at pains to make it clear that they were very pleased with the support provided by the Board and that they had been satisfied with the playing budget, the training facilities and, in general, how the players and management have been looked after as far as could reasonably be expected, given the club’s overall financial position. The management team also acknowledged that league performances and results since the turn of the year were just not good enough and, indeed, that is also a view that has been expressed by a number of individual players themselves as the season drew to a close.

One of the main lessons learned was that although the quality of players on the books this season was very good, we perhaps did not have enough ‘strength in depth’ to cope with injuries to key players and suspensions or to enable the management to tactically change the team around in order to counter the strengths of, and attack the weaknesses of, different opponents. There is also a recognition that unnecessary bookings need to be avoided going forward but that, nevertheless, we need to bring in players capable of combatting other teams’ attacking capabilities.

Directors and management alike were in total agreement that in some matches, especially those league games that are freshest in our minds, we could and should have done better and we are united in our determination to work together to improve results in 2014/15 notwithstanding the quality of, and the much higher resources available to, the opposition we will face. There is no doubt at all that the management team are up for the challenge and will work tirelessly in pursuit of our goals and that the Board will continue to support that effort with every means at its disposal. An increased budget has been made available and much work is already being done to build our 2014 / 2015 squad (some of the existing squad will re-sign and there will also be a number of new faces) in the days and weeks ahead.

We are keen to give supporters a fuller insight into the ‘behind the scenes’ effort that goes on in close season and, to this end, Raith TV will next week show a Q&A session involving the management team plus Chairman Turnbull Hutton and Chief Executive Eric Drysdale. Keep checking www.raithrovers.net for further details.

For sure, next season’s campaign will be very competitive and exciting and it is important that everyone with Raith Rovers in their hearts puts their shoulders to the wheel to help the club face the challenges ahead. Season ticket prices will be announced later this month and they will include an extra special offer to junior supporters who are the club’s lifeblood for the future.  We hope that record numbers will decide to renew their season tickets or to buy one for the first time.


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