New Cove Rangers manager Jim McIntyre got his eagerly anticipated chance to work with the players when he took charge of a first training session at Balmoral Stadium.

Jim and his coaching staff put the squad through a strenuous workout as preparations for the club’s first season competing at Championship level were stepped up.

Jim, who was appointed last week, said: “It was good to finally meet the players and get back into training. The boys all seem in great spirits, you could see they are a close bunch from the way they were together when they arrived for training.

“They were all hugging and greeting each other, which is great.

“There is nothing better than a group of players who are happy to work together, and who are used to winning, which these lads most certainly are. It will take me a couple of weeks to really get to know them, but I’m pleased to finally get to this point.

“It feels like an eternity since I was appointed and you don’t really feel you have started working properly until you actually get on to the training pitch.”

The session also gave Jim and his assistant manager – former Airdrieonians team-mate Jimmy Boyle – the opportunity to work alongside fitness coach Tam Ritchie, goalkeeping coach Derek Soutar and first team coach Gary Hake for the first time.

Jim said: “The support staff have been brilliant, as has everyone else about the club that I have met so far. It makes things a lot easier for me to settle having people about who already know the players and also have a knowledge of how the club works.”

It is Jim’s first taste of coaching a part-time club, although he admitted he is still approaching things in the same manner as he did when operating at full-time level.

“Since I took this job I have been on my phone constantly, speaking to people about potential signings and other club matters,” he said.

“It’s full-time in your mind and I’m happy with that because it’s the way we are all going to have to approach things as we prepare to compete in the Championship for the first time.

“When you are a football person you wouldn’t want it any other way.

“You live and breathe the game and don’t care how much work you have to put in as long as it brings you success at the other end.”

Jim’s first match in charge is against one of his former clubs, Dunfermline Athletic, at Balmoral Stadium on Saturday, kick-off 1.00pm.

It is also long serving goalkeeper Stuart McKenzie’s Testimonial match.

We will publish full previews of Stuart’s big day in the lead-up to the weekend.

There will also be a special souvenir programme on sale at Balmoral Stadium and tickets for the Dunfermline match can be purchased via the link below:


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