Stranraer skipper Grant Gallagher believes success of Declan Gallagher and Ali McCann can inspire new faces

New Stranraer skipper Grant Gallagher says players coming to the club from bigger outfits shouldn’t view it as a backward step in their careers.

By Ian MacLean
Wednesday, 7th July 2021, 9:39 am
Stranraer captain Grant Gallagher in action during the pre-season friendly with Ayr United (pic: Bill McCandlish)
Stranraer captain Grant Gallagher in action during the pre-season friendly with Ayr United (pic: Bill McCandlish)

The 30-year-old midfielder is playing a key role in welcoming fresh faces as new boss Jamie Hamill rebuilds his squad ahead of the new season, which kicks off with Saturday’s Premier Sports Cup group stage opener at home to Morton.

Players like Scotland Euro squad member Declan Gallagher and Northern Ireland prospect Ali McCann have gone on to play international football having enjoyed loan spells with Stranraer.

Stranraer’s squad has changed massively during the pre-season, with Gallagher one of only six who started the play-off defeat to Dumbarton still at the club.

And the Blues captain believes the club can continue to provide a platform for new recruits to show what they can do.

He told the club website: “We’ve obviously got a quite a few from Kilmarnock, Rangers and others and it is always going to happen.

“Young footballers are looking for clubs and don’t know if it is going to be difficult with Covid to get into places. There are definitely players who have got a point to prove.

“They don’t want to fade out of the game and I certainly hope they don’t think League Two is a step down.

“You think of the players we have had in the past that have worked their way back up the league.

“I try to pass on as much as I can.

“I was in the same shoes as them years ago – it does not seem like years ago but football flies by – to get a chance to go and play senior football.”​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Gallagher is also looking forward to fans returning and believes supporters’ enthusiasm for seeing their favourites again can inspire players to greater efforts.

He said: “Some of the games last season, they were not like training but they did not have the competitive edge with fans there.

“I was reading a study showing that without fans players are running less distance.

“It shows the effect fans have on players. They are willing players to run longer distances.

“It is only pre-season but you can imagine as things are going on those numbers will keep going back up.”