Jul 6 2012 by Andrew Burns, Dumfries Standard Friday
HARRY Cairney was impressed by the Annan Athletic trialists in their opening two pre-season fixtures.
And he has snapped up former Dumbarton youth star Graeme Ramage, while also securing goalkeeper Craig Summersgill for another season.
Annan romped to a 5-1 win over Abbey Vale on Saturday before drawing 2-2 with South league champions Dalbeattie Star.
Cairney said: “I was certainly impressed with a couple of the trialists and the new boys that we have signed.
“Andrew Donley scored against Dalbeattie and Graeme Ramage scored against Abbey Vale, while the others all played very well.
“We still have a number of games to come and the trialist players will continue to get the chance to try and earn a contract.”
Threave Rovers’ top scorer Donley doubled Annan’s lead against Star with a fine chip after defender Steven Swinglehurst had opened the scoring at Islecroft.
Star levelled the scores in the second half of Monday night’s game as Cairney gave a run-out to a number of first-team stars and further trialists.
Two days earlier, Annan came from behind to see off Abbey Vale 5-1 at Maryfield Park, with Cairney switching the entire outfield at half-time.
Debutants Scott Chaplain and Michael Daly, signed from Albion Rovers and Queen’s Park respectively, both got on the scoresheet along with Ramage and striker Graeme Bell, much to the delight of the Annan boss.
Cairney said: “It was good for the two guys to score in their first game for the club, even if it’s just a friendly. These games are all about fitness and match sharpness but a goal or two never does anyone any harm.
“We created plenty of chances in each game and that was very pleasing.
“Both goalkeepers had to make plenty of saves as we were passing the ball well and getting in behind the defenders a lot.”
Annan’s travel to Meadow Park to face Threave Rovers tonight and cross the border to face Carlisle’s Celtic Nation on Tuesday night.
The manager added: “We will continue as we left off, with the trialists given plenty of chances in both games.
“Both will be a good test for the lads and will really help to build up the fitness of everyone.”
Meanwhile, former Queens and Gretna manager Rowan Alexander has joined Annan as Head of Youth.
Alexander, 51, started his playing career at Galabank and went on to play for Queens, Brentford and Morton.