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HE has more years of experience in youth football than his players have had birthdays, and Stuart Wild is looking to pass on that knowledge to Stranraer's under 20s.

The squad, which has helped bring through youngsters like Kyle Turner, Calvin Kemp and Chris McGowan in recent years, will again be looking to catch the eye of Stevie Farrell.

Wild took over from Matt Maley towards the end of last season and will be assisted by former Blues defender David MacGregor.

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He was looking forward to the new season and vowed to do what he could to help the members of the under 20s squad to progress.

He said: "This season, after implementing the gaffer's vision for the 20s, the task is reshaping the squad to hopefully produce players for the first team.

"I was delighted that young Chris McGowan made his debut from the bench in the final league game and he has been training with the first team squad since April."

chris mcgowan

Like the first team manager, Wild has hardly had time to rest during the off-season.

Players have come and gone with attempts to strengthen the squad and bring in players who could one day reach the first team.

Wild, whose involvement in youth football began in 1992 with Renfrew Victoria, has been out and about looking to find new additions.

Since those beginnings, he has coached with Rangers and Kilmarnock, helping with the youth system that brought through players such as Jamie Hamill, Steven Naismith and Cameron Bell.

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He added: "The break has been hectic, with me having to utilise a number of contacts to unearth trialists to bring in on Monday to run the rule over for the season ahead.

"During the summer, after the appointment of Davie Macgregor to the 20s, we have had a number of discussions and as with all the staff at the club he is a top bloke.

"He has an enthusiasm to get started and shares a similar belief to myself on how the game should be played.

"He brings to the table a professionalism and, after a career in senior football, he has a wealth of knowledge to pass on.

"Between us we each have areas of expertise which will dovetail perfectly during the journey and challenge to raise the standards to allow the 20s to achieve a level to impress the gaffer, Chris Aitken and Alan Waddell and play first team football."

The relationship with Farrell is nothing new though.

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Indeed, it stretches back almost a decade, long before Farrell returned to Stair Park in a management capacity.

Wild said: "Our first meeting was in the Glynhill Hotel around nine years ago when he met my son to offer him a deal to sign for Cumnock.

"After the meeting, my son asked me 'what do you think?'

"I said 'sign for him', as he has a passion for the game and desire to succeed and a vision of how the game should be played.

"After a few years, my son moved on but I kept in regular touch with Stevie as we shared a common challenge to strive to be a better coach.

"During this time, I had offers to rejoin the pro youth set up at a number of clubs but declined as I did not think I could give a 100 per cent to something I didn’t believe in.

"The call from the gaffer came after he had been in a few weeks and asked 'Will you work for me?'

"I answered 'When do I start?'"

SPFL 3L1 6474

1 Arbroath 7 17
2 Raith Rovers 7 13
3 Airdrieonians 7 10
4 East Fife 7 10
5 Brechin City 7 9
6 Dumbarton 7 8
7 Stranraer 7 8
8 Forfar Athletic 7
9 Montrose 7 7
10 Stenhousemuir 7 6


2018/19 Squad

1 - Max Currie (GK)
2 - Daniel Higgins (DEF)

3 - Chris McGowan (DEF)
4 - Andrew McDonald (DEF)
5 - David Brownlie (DEF)
6 - Connor McManus (MID)
7 - Mark Lamont (MID)
8 - Kyle Turner (MID)
9 - Isaac Layne (STR)

10 - Luke Donnelly (STR)
11 - Grant Anderson (M/S)
12 - Ian Smith (MID)

13 - Lyle Avci (GK)
14 - Cameron Elliott (MID)
16 - Max Ashmore (MID)
17 - David Smith (D/M)
18 - Innes Cameron (STR)
19 - Ciaran Diver (STR)

22 - Jamie Hamill (DEF)
23 - Adam Cummins (DEF)