Raith Rovers boss John McGlynn has outlined the key advantages of returning to an entirely full-time operation.
Rovers utilised a ‘hybrid’ system last term, with star left-back Kieran MacDonald and player/coach David McGurn both part-time and the remainder of the squad effectively full-time.
MacDonald and McGurn both departed during the close season and Raith have subsequently altered their model.
It is not the revolutionary step that it would be at some clubs, given Rovers were more than halfway there already — but the change will allow McGlynn to reap some key rewards in terms of training schedules, scouting and recruitment.
However, with more new faces still on the horizon, the experienced coach acknowledges that full-time hours will make the club an easier sell.
It ensures transfer targets — whether younger players coming from bigger clubs or more experienced professionals — are not forced to countenance a change in their lifestyle and working hours in order to make the switch to Fife.
“They want the routine they have become used to; those full-time training hours,” explained McGlynn. “That makes Raith Rovers a more attractive proposition when we are looking to recruit.
“When you are looking to bring players here, there are a lot of younger players who come out of full-time football at other clubs and don’t want to go part-time.
“That idea of only training on a Tuesday and Thursday can be a difficult sell for some players.”
The change of model will also allow Rovers to bring their training schedule more in line with their Championship foes.
While McGlynn is adamant Raith did the same amount of work as their full-time rivals last term, in a game of marginal gains, McGlynn is pleased to do away with even the most minuscule of disadvantages.
“In that hybrid system that we had last year it was only really Kieran MacDonald and David McGurn — our third-choice goalkeeper and coach — who were part-time,” he continued. “So we were sort of doing it for them.
“Instead of doing it between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m., it’ll be between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. now.
“It’s the same effort and the same work as we put in last season but going full-time will allow us to work every morning and lets us do double-sessions, which will be something we do a lot during this pre-season.
“During the season, we will do double-sessions on a Tuesday and Thursday, so it opens up different avenues in terms of getting more work into the entire group.”
For a football fanatic and stickler to detail such as McGlynn, training on a Tuesday evening had the major disadvantage of not being able to attend games at that time — a fairly common occurrence on the Scottish football calendar.
The change to a full-time schedule will allow for McGlynn to scout players and size up opponents in the flesh during the season.
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— RRFC Official (@RaithRovers) June 7, 2021
“Because Tuesday was a training night, that would sometimes stop me from watching our rivals,” he added. “This change opens up the opportunity for me to go to games on a Tuesday night.
“Those are pretty regular in Scotland, especially at the start of the season, when there are so many games going on and you are getting a handle on new-look squads.
“We’ll be able to have a right good look at the teams in the league; the new players; how they are adapting — and we’ll be ready for whatever comes.”