New Elgin City manager Allan Hale is confident he can help the League Two club enjoy a positive future.
Hale and assistant Stefan Laird, who resigned from Highland League club Huntly on Monday, are the new management pairing at Elgin, having agreed terms on two-and-a-half-year contracts.
During their two full seasons in charge at Christie Park, they guided the Black and Golds to 10th and eighth in the Highland League and depart with the club sixth in the division.
Hale joined Huntly three-and-a-half years ago from junior side Fraserburgh United, where he was player-assistant manager.
He takes over from Barry Smith, who spent just two months in the hot-seat before leaving in November due to increased work commitments.
Smith had replaced player-boss Ross Draper, who had a short spell in charge from May, following the sacking of long-time manager Gavin Price, who recently became the manager at Highland League champions Brechin City.
Stability needed most at Elgin City
It has been a year of turmoil for Elgin, who avoided the relegation play-off by the skin of their teeth last term, guided to safety by Draper, Charlie Charlesworth and Steven Dunn.
Elgin are ninth in League Two, five points clear of Clyde, who they were due to host last weekend. This Saturday, they are away to East Fife, who are just one point above them.
Interim player-boss Draper helped guide the team to a crucial 1-0 home win against Forfar Athletic on November 21, which was their last outing.
Hale says the chance to take charge of an SPFL club was too good to ignore.
⚫️⚪️ NEXT MATCH ⚫️⚪️
🆚 East Fife
🏟️ Bayview Stadium – Methil
🏆 Cinch League Two
📅 Saturday 9th December
🎟️ Tickets are available online at East Fife website or at the ticket office on Matchday pic.twitter.com/vKclX0slhJ
— Elgin City F.C. (@ElginCityFC) December 4, 2023
Elgin have ‘talented’ group of players – Hale
When asked about taking on a job, he said: “Every job is a challenge, regardless of the levels.
“I am a very positive guy and I have a positive outlook on things. That will certainly be my approach to the role.
“Hopefully we can implement a style of football the players will enjoy and the supporters will enjoy watching.
“Over time, we can hopefully build a team that can move forward and we can enjoy a bit of success together. I am really grateful for the opportunity.
“It is a fantastic opportunity at a really good club with a talented group of players. I am excited to get in and I am looking forward to meeting the players on Thursday.
“Hopefully we can enjoy some good and positives times together.”
Hale praises impact of Ross Draper
And Hale insists under the guidance of Draper, he already senses he is coming into lead a group of players with the right attitude.
He added: “Ross Draper has done a really good job, in terms of getting the players stabilised and focused on obtaining positive results. He’s managed to do that.
“From speaking to him and the players, I sense there is a really motivated group there. They are hungry, determined and motivated.
“For me, that’s a good start, because we have a group who believe in themselves. They have the passion towards their football and the club.
“I am looking forward to going in. This week will be difficult to implement too much of our own work early doors, that will take a little bit of time.
“We will, in the short-term, lean on Ross, in terms of the approach he’s taken, then as time goes on we will implement our own ideas.
“We want to introduce a brand of football that is enjoyable for the players and for the supporters.”