John McGlynn has confirmed that Raith Rovers have tabled offers to several of their out of contract stars as the club continue ‘proactive’ preparations for next season.
The Fifers, who will be assured a promotion playoff place should they defeat rock-bottom Alloa on Saturday afternoon, have already secured the future of fans’ favourite Lewis Vaughan until the summer of 2024.
However, that is the thin end of the wedge in terms of the business McGlynn is keen to conclude in the coming weeks, with a swathe of key players — including Regan Hendry, Frankie Musonda, Dan Armstrong and Brad Spencer — all able to leave this summer.
We are waiting on a few players coming back to us but I’m not going to make a big song and dance about that. That’s just normal.
Rovers have also secured the pre-contract captures of Christophe Berra, James Keatings, Tom Lang and Dario Zanatta.
“There are offers on the table and we are working hard behind the scenes,” said McGlynn. “We have done a lot of good work up to now in terms of getting guys on pre-contracts and, looking ahead, we are in a good position.
“It is players’ prerogative to see what’s out there and get the best deal they can, if that is what they want to do.
“We are waiting on a few players coming back to us but I’m not going to make a big song and dance about that. That’s just normal.
“However, I think we can be really pleased with how proactive we have been and we are still looking out-with the club for signings to make us stronger.”
McGlynn is not the sort of manager who likes to conduct his business in the public glare and discuss with whom he has started talks.
Nevertheless, it would be reasonable to assume efforts are ongoing to keep Hendry – a stand-out performer who is attracting admiring glances from the Premiership and England — at Stark’s Park.
And McGlynn has lavished praise on the ‘special’ midfielder, admitting that, despite being at Celtic at the same time as the former Hoops reserve captain, he was unaware of just how good a player he had on his hands until they worked together in Kirkcaldy.
“He’s been a special midfielder from the moment I walked back into Stark’s Park and brought him with me from Celtic [where McGlynn was a scout],” he continued. “I didn’t realise the significance at the time.
“My job at Celtic was nothing to do with young players or Regan Hendry, so I maybe didn’t realise what I was getting.
“Myself and Paul [Smith, assistant] had injuries and Celtic obliged by allowing him to come back [September 2018] — he had been at Rovers the previous season when Barry Smith was in charge — and it just seemed like a nice fit.
“He absolutely took off in that second period and really kicked on. Unfortunately he suffered a cruciate injury, but he knew exactly what we thought of him and signed for us again after leaving Celtic at the end of that season.
“He has just been different class. He is an excellent football player and fits the way we play the game.”
Regan going on a run on Tuesday night 😍 pic.twitter.com/5Jq5FAXMvL
— RaithTV (@RaithTV) April 15, 2021
On the topic of Hendry’s future, a circumspect McGlynn simply said: “I guess we’ll see what happens.”
Vaughan (thigh), Jamie Gullan (hamstring), Ross Matthews (toe) and Musonda, who picked up a knock in Tuesday night’s win at Queen of the South, are all major doubts for the clash with the Wasps, while Kieran MacDonald is touch-and-go.
Little wonder, then, that McGlynn is expected an onerous task as they seek a victory which would relegate their opponents.
“I don’t want to sound patronising or silly, but they are the best bottom-of-the-league team I’ve ever gone up against, so to speak,” added McGlynn. “I like the way the play; I like their style; I like their individual players.
“We don’t have our troubles to seek in terms of injuries. But that has been the case at points throughout this season and we’ve still managed to perform — so we’ll try to do that again.”