Maxwell adds Oliver to his Rob Roy army

New Rob Roy signing Michael Oliver in action for East Stirlingshire last season
New Rob Roy signing Michael Oliver in action for East Stirlingshire last season

Rob Roy have beaten off stiff competition to secure the services of ex-Clyde defender and former Harestanes skipper Michael Oliver.

The 27-year-old had a two-year spell with Clyde from 2011 to 2013, having moved from Harestanes, but suffered a serious knee injury.

He returned to the amateur ranks and after skippering Harestanes to their Scottish Amateur Cup triumph in 2015 he was signed by Cumbernauld Colts for their debut season in the Lowland League.

An impressive campaign persuaded Clyde to re-sign him last summer but struggled to pin down a first-team slot and spent the second half of last season on loan at East Stirlingshire.

Rob Roy boss Stewart Maxwell - having lost the services of defender and player of the year Kevin Green who moved to Queen’s Park along with Chris Duff and Luke Whelan - is delighted to have added Oliver to his squad.

Maxwell has also brought in Thorniewood United goalkeeper Alex Connell, Sauchie midfielder Gary McCulloch and Renfrew defender/midfielder Ross Gallagher over the past week.

Having also previously brought in midfielders Stefan Law (Thorniewood) and Robert McGuire (St Roch’s) and striker Garry Carroll (Arthurlie), the Rabs boss is close to finalising his squad for the coming campaign.

And he admits the club’s success last season has made it easier to attract players.

Maxwell said: “I think everybody’s looked at Rob Roy now and knows they are a decent proposition; we’re attracting better players. It’s always difficult to sign players but it’s not as difficult when you’ve had a good season and got a good profile.

“That’s us sitting at 19 and we’re ready to go next Monday.

“There may be one or two still to add, but we’re not in a major hurry. We’ve got a few trialists coming in and we’ll run an assessments over them.

“But we’re sitting at good numbers and I’m pleased with the signings. We’ve brought in a bit of youth and experience so we’ve got a good mixture again.”

Maxwell is also pleased to be bringing in players with a local connection to the club, along with former player Kenny Jarvis who has returned as a coach.

Maxwell said: “Michael Oliver won the Amateur Cup with Harestanes and is a local lad who knows the club well.

“We had a bit of competition to sign him but we beat them off and have landed his signature so we’re delighted.

“Alex Connell will be back-up to Michael McKinven. Alex is a local lad we had at our amateur team so he’s in as back-up.

“He’s a good lad, a good trainer and he’s improved very quickly so he’ll give us cover for Mikey.

“Gary McCulloch is a strong tackling, defensive midfielder who has a great pedigree and comes highly recommended. He had a great season at Sauchie and won double Player of the Year so he’ll slot in and fill the void that Luke Whelan has left.

“Ross Gallagher is another one who comes with a great pedigree. He had five years at Queen’s Park before left them and went to Renfrew due to work commitments and had a great season there.

“He can play anywhere on the left-hand side, he’s strong, athletic and experienced so he gives us that extra wee dimension to our formation if we want to change.

“If you look at all my coaching staff they’ve all played for Rob Roy at some point in their career.

“Kenny was a very popular figure when he played with us so he comes back warmly welcomed.”