Tranent manager Gary Small’s preparations are well underway for next season as he bids to get the East Lothian club promoted to the Premier League.
Small, who took charge in February after leaving local rivals Haddington Athletic where he was assistant manager, is targeting a place in the Super League within three years for the team which he supported as a boy and later went on to play for during his career.
Tranent have already signed four members of the Haddington side which won the South Division title this season and changes are also being made off the park for a club who haven’t had their troubles to seek in recent years.
Former Haddington captain Chris Gray has signed on a two-year deal, while Hi-Hi top goalscorer Joe Murray has joined as a player/assistant manager, with Kenny McMillan and Mark Smith also joining their former assistant boss in making the move.
Former Musselburgh assistant manager Ian Ramage has joined Small’s coaching staff, while Lee McIntosh has been brought in as a goalkeeping coach and Mike McGuire will assume the role of fitness and sports science coach.
Small isn’t just focusing on his duties as first-team manager though, as he wishes to change the club from top to bottom, with a key emphasis on their under-21 side and a new under-19 team who will have the opportunity to make the transition to the Juniors.
“When I went into the job it was all over the place with the 21s training on different nights from the first team – it was like them and us,” he said. “We’ll both be training on a Tuesday and Thursday now and there will be integration of coaches and players. It gives the under 21 guys a chance to get into the first team as they’ll be training next to the first team and they’ll get exposure.”
The club have already sold more than 80 season tickets for next season and Small is eager to make the town proud of their club again, with their supporters having suffered in recent years at the bottom end of the table.
He said: “I remember the days when I was a young boy going to watch Tranent games and there would be a thousand people there.
“I’ve grown up with Tranent juniors and that’s my motivation and drive to make this club successful.
“The town is massively passionate about their club, but they’ve just had nothing to support for the past so many years. We want to make the town proud about their football club again.”