Musselburgh boss not panicking over player exodus

Stevie McLeish will take his time to sign the right players for the club
Stevie McLeish will take his time to sign the right players for the club
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Despite having his squad decimated since reaching the final of the Scottish Junior Cup, Musselburgh Athletic boss Stevie McLeish isn’t going to start panicking ahead of next season.

Jordyn Sheerin, scorer of 42 goals last season, sealed his switch to Livingston last week, while centre-back pairing Robert Wilson and Andrew Munro have moved to Senior teams Berwick Rangers and Arbroath.

Winger Graeme Beveridge, who was on-loan from Elgin City last season, is on trial with East Fife although he could yet ply his trade at Olivebank if a move does not transpire.

Influential midfielder Darren Smith had already agreed to join Tranent prior to the cup final and he has departed along with youngsters Kyle Doig, Ewan Ralton and Dan Moffat, while Lewis Turner is close to sealing a switch to Bonnyrigg Rose.

“Everyone all goes with out best wishes, they gave a great effort last year and if they want to move on and take their career elsewhere then that is fair enough,” said McLeish, pictured. “All the best to them, I hope they all do well.

“Although we’ve lost a lot of players, we aren’t in a rush to bring players in, I’m just taking my time in that regard and picking ones that I want.

“The one thing I don’t want to do is to rush into signing players, because that’s when you start to make mistakes and if I’m rushing that’s because I’m panicking and I’m not going to panic.

“I’m sure by the time the season starts we’ll have a squad of 20 players. It will take them a while to all gel together but we’ll still be a hell of a team. The players we are talking to are all quality so it’s not like we are going to replace quality with sub standard.”

McLeish has gone some way to replacing those who have left, with striker Sean Jamieson joining from Newtongrange Star and nephew Kevin McLeish arriving from Bonnyrigg. Defender John Hall has also been brought in from Whitehill Welfare along with midfielder Sean Conaghan from Peebles Rovers.

Musselburgh return for pre-season training on July 11, McLeish giving his players just over a month off since their season ended with a 2-1 defeat by Auchinleck Talbot at Rugby Park on June 7.

His players have been given a close-season programme to work on to ensure they return in good shape to prepare for the new campaign, with fixtures lined up ahead of the new season against Easthouses Lilly, who have joined the Juniors, Whitehill and Ayrshire giants Irvine Meadow.