Rangers prepare to kick off competitive season

Berwick Rangers will kick off their League Cup group campaign this weekend when they face Ayr United at Shielfield on Saturday.

Friday, 5th July 2019, 18:38 pm
Updated Tuesday, 23rd July 2019, 15:39 pm

The Tweedsiders will then travel to take on Stranraer the following weekend before further group matches against Falkirk and Livingston.

Rangers warmed up for their competitive games with two friendliest over the past week when they followed up a 2-0 home win over Coldstream with a 3-0 victory over Billingham Synthonia on Saturday.

New manager Ian Little says that in previous years Berwick have faced a tougher, and more prolonged pre-season, but this time around he plans to use the four group matches in the League Cup - against Ayr, Stranraer, Falkirk and Livingston - as warm-ups to their first season in the Lowland League.

“That’s four established Scottish League sides we will be playing,” said Little, “and we also have to face Rangers Colts in the Challenge Cup, giving us seven matches before we kick off in the league.

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“We have a lot of new faces in the squad, which we are adding to all the time, and seven games should give them time to bed in before the league starts.”

In the past week Little has added five new faces to his squad in the shape of Jack Wright, Kieran Jack, Ali Forster, Ali Smith and Chris Gray.

Wright, who is 22, is a forward/midfielder who has signed from fellow Lowland League side Whitehill Welfare. He was a youth with Edina Hibs and has also been with Cowdenbeath and Musselburgh Athletic.

Jack is a product of the Berwick Development/Reserves. The 18 year-old is an attacking midfielder and spent last season on loan with Preston Athletic in the East of Scotland, but also turned out for the Reserves.

Forster is a fullback or midfielder who has signed from Newtongrange Star. He has also had spells with Alloa and played in Sweden.

Smith is a midfielder who joins his brother Euan at Berwick. He spent two seasons with Hibernian then was at Cowdenbeath and last season and Whitehill Welfare.

Gray, a defender was previously with Tranent. He joined the Hearts Academy then went on to play for Ross County and more recently with Linlithgow Rose and Musselburgh Athletic.