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Former Elgin City boss Jim Weir tips Rory MacEwan to kick on after scoring new deal

Rory MacEwan, who has signed a contract extension at Elgin City, seeing him through to 2024.
Rory MacEwan, who has signed a contract extension at Elgin City, seeing him through to 2024.

Coach Jim Weir reckons Rory MacEwan can offer plenty to Elgin City after signing a two-year contract extension this week.

The former Black and Whites’ manager, who is assisting current boss Gavin Price at least until the end of this season, knows all about the 24-year-old midfielder.

Price was at the Borough Briggs helm when MacEwan broke through as a youngster before he moved to Stirling University.

He returned to Moray in 2019 and he’s seen as a key player for the coming years, having just hit a century of appearances.

Weir said: “Rory was a young lad at the club when I was in charge at Elgin.

“He then left to go to Stirling University, but I saw then that he was a potential talent.

“He went on to do well at Stirling and he came back to Elgin and has played a big part in the side under Gavin.

Midfielder Rory MacEwan, right, with Elgin City assistant manager after recently making his 100th appearance for the Moray club.

“For him to commit himself for another two years is great for the club and for the player because he can develop further.

“Hopefully he will force his way into the starting line-up. He will be disappointed he’s not started as many games as he’d like lately, but that’s down to the good form of the likes of Brian Cameron, Angus Mailer and Russell Dingwall.

“We certainly know what Rory brings to the team. He’s a good age and is a good person as well. He’s a good footballer and listens, which is always what a manager looks for.”

Weir considers longer coaching role

And Weir explained his temporary arrangement to help Price and assistant manager Steven Mackay might well go beyond this summer, depending on whether he can make it fit alongside family and work commitments.

He said: “Everybody has made me feel welcome. I have a good connection with the players, and myself and Gavin and the coaches have again struck up a really good understanding and I didn’t expect anything different.

Elgin City boss Gavin Price.

“Long-term, Gavin and the club have made it clear they would like to me stay longer, going into next year. While I haven’t committed to that at the minute, I certainly haven’t ruled it out.

“I have to weigh up my family/work balance. I always need to give it everything I’ve got otherwise it’s unfair (on the club).”

Missing defenders limit team options

Ninth-placed Elgin head for Stirling Albion on Saturday, needing one point to ensure they are not dragged into a late-season survival battle instead of Cowdenbeath at the foot of the League 2 table.

Elgin are looking to bounce back from a 2-0 home loss to Stenhousemuir and Weir feels the loss of two injured defenders has not helped in their quest for points of late.

He said: “Losing Darryl McHardy and Jevan Anderson has restricted the manager in terms of his team selection.

“If you look at Darryl, for example. He wins headers in both boxes and he’s been a big miss.

Darryl-McHardy, right, has been sidelined for Elgin City since facing Kelty Hearts last month.

“We have lost goals recently through crosses into the box. I stressed to the players when I came in 60% of games are won on set-plays. We have to defend our box, while being aggressive in the other box.

“It’s about striking the balance. The players are certainly the club everything.”

Stirling tough rivals at Forthbank

And Weir is not taking anything for granted when it comes to facing the Binos, who are two places above them, despite City beating them twice this term.

He added: “The 3-1 win against Stirling was my first game when I came in and they had a player sent off early doors after we had raced into a two-goal lead.

“We played well that day, but also made mistakes. We know Stirling can cause problems for us. They’ve also picked up a few results and are three games unbeaten.

“Stirling are always a difficult team to play, especially down there. There will be confidence within their dressing room. Like us, they will want to finish as high up the league as they can.”

Still chance to rise two more places

Weir, who has also bossed Angus clubs Arbroath, Brechin, Montrose and Forfar, hopes City can round a disappointing campaign off on a high note in their closing games against Stirling, Cowdenbeath and Stranraer.

He said: “The performances overall have been pretty good, apart from last Saturday when I felt the conditions played a huge part in the first half. We didn’t get the breaks in the second half.

“I felt if we had scored to make it 1-0, we would have gone on to win the game. We lost a freak second goal and that was it, but we’re looking for a reaction this weekend. Everybody knows what’s at stake.

“I still believe this squad is capable of finishing two places higher this season.”

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