Rob Roy boss Stewart Maxwell this week praised his players’ fitness levels after watching them beat Civil Service Strollers.
Rabs impressed in a 4-1 away win over the Lowland League outfit in Edinburgh on Saturday.
Maxwell said: “You’re always a bit uncertain when you take on games against teams you don’t really know but it was a good one for us and I was really impressed with the overall fitness of the team.
“I think around 90 per cent of the boys have come back in really good shape and I was pleased with the all-round team performance and everybody got a run out.
“The boys who have been with me for a while know me. I have kept myself fit throughout my career and have always stressed that fitness is key. But a lot of young guys these days have gym mentality and look after themselves.
“They know that if they keep themselves fit during the break than pre-season won’t be as tough and with there being such a quick turnaround in the juniors with teams playing games into June there’s not much time to get out of shape.”
While avoiding wholesale changes Maxwell has brought in a number of new signings this season with focus mainly on defence and midfield.
He has recruited former Linlithgow Rose ‘keeper Michael McKinven, centre-back Kevin Green and right-back Scott Walker from Blantyre Vics, former Irvine Meadow centre-back Craig Buchanan ex-Stirling Albion midfielder David Sinclair. Another midfield signing could follow this week.
Rabs have also lost Danny Boyle who has joined Ayrshire giants Auchinleck Talbot.
Up front Kevin Watt and Willie Sawyers remain with Chris Duff providing another option.
Watt grabbed a hat-trick and Duff got the other in Saturday’s win and Maxwell admitted: “People might think we have just the two strikers but Chris gives us another option.
“He can play wide or up high and we’ve also got goalscoring midfielders - sometimes that’s better than having another striker because they can break late and get into the box without being picked up.
“I think this year’s Premier League could be the hardest in years - the three teams who have come up [Ayrshire trio Cumnock, Largs Thistle and Kilwinning Rangers] are all good sides with money to spend.
“Our aim for the season will again be to have a good solid campaign and keep our place in the league while we wait to return home to Kirkintilloch.”
Rabs face Haddington away on Saturday with another away match against Camelon next Tuesday.
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