Boss Daryl excited for upcoming challenge

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Forfar West End boss Daryl McKenzie isn’t planning on making too many changes to his promotion-winning side as they return to the East Region Premier League next season.

McKenzie was buoyed by the news that every single member of his youth-dominated squad had agreed new terms for the upcoming campaign.

And the player-manager believes only a handful of acquisitions are needed now as he looks to add an important element of experience to the playing staff.

McKenzie told the Dispatch: “I’m speaking to guys who have been playing in a higher league, we’re trying to add that bit of experience to the squad.

“We’ve got some excellent young players but we just want that little bit of experience for going into the Premier League. It’s always good to have those experienced heads that know how to manipulate situations and handle games so the more skillful, younger players can do their thing.

“When I’m talking about experienced players I’m talking about guys in their late 20s, I’m not speaking about late 30s or early 40s. Experienced guys in the juniors are 28 or 29 these days. It’s these guys who have eight or nine years experience in the juniors, they’ve won trophies, they’ve played in the Super Leagues, that we’re looking to add alongside our teenagers who have obviously got a great deal of promise.”

The boss is confident that the boys already signed to the club will hold their own despite the step up in quality, and the difficult competition they will face.

He continued: “ We’re very confident of making the step up, we know we’ve got good players at the club.

“The fact that every player re-signed for next season is great testament to the group of boys we’ve got. We’re more than confident this group will hold their own in that league.

“We know it’s a difficult league but they can hold their own. We’re looking to make just two or three marquee signings to help us through, but we’re ready for the step up.”

Meanwhile, McKenzie confirmed that West End have secured three pre-season friendlies with two more to be signed off as his charges get ready for the challenging year ahead.

They will play unconfirmed sides on July 19 and 24 before they travel to Larkhall Thistle on July 26.

They then play Lochee Harp away on July 30, before finishing up by hosting Lochee United on August 2.