Our resident Website Administrator, Kevin Ramage interviews the Rovers manager, Colin Slater before the new League season kicks off on Saturday.

KRamage50
Colin that’s now 8 Games played, 5 wins, 1 draw and a single defeat.30 goals scored and 11 conceded. How are you feeling going into the new season?
CSlater50
We have started well and hopefully getting into a winning habit, good to see various players scoring and encouraging from all areas of the park. We need to eradicate the mistakes that are costing us dearly both on conceding goals and missing glaring chances, this is hopefully part of the settling in process and we will work closer on this when we get back to a proper training routine.

KRamage50
A few new faces this season, what are your first impressions?
CSlater50
The new guys have settled in very well, some have had more match time than others due to holidays. I personnaly feel we have really strenghtened the squad to cover all positions. We have brought in a good mix of experience and youth which will compliment each other and blend well with the retained players from last season.
 
Thanks to Malky and the committee who have fully supported our approach to this season and at no time questioned our ambition of having a large squad of quality players. Andy & myself worked closely with Malky in the close season having various meetings and discussions with our signing targets.

KRamage50
Finishing 7th in the league last year was a great achievement. How would you like to see this season go?
CSlater50
Obviously our main aim is promotion and with the current squad their is no reason why this should not happen, if we apply ourselves and play the passing game we like to play then we should not be far away, albeit it is a very tough league with no pushovers.

KRamage50
Picking up the Clydesdale cup was a great start to the season do you feel it benefits you and the players having this tournament as well as the Euroscot Engineering so early in the season?
CSlater50
It was great to retain this title for the first time, no matter what people think of this tournament believe me it means a lot to the local clubs to lift this early in the season, thankfully this season the privilege was ours.The league cup section is still part of the pre-season process trying to balance the squad with playing time to prepare for the first league match at Cambuslang. It gives us a chance to try a few options in different games.

KRamage50
We have a large squad now, there are going to be a few disappointed players at times.
CSlater50
Yes, we fully understand that and with such a big squad of quality players it will be difficult to manage, but we have had bigger headaches when we struggled to field a team and were using coaches to cover the substitute positions.
 
This season already we have had a few missing, Mark Weir has been struggling and is currently on a Physio programme, Ian Watt, Steven Ferguson & John Savage have also missed the last few games so the large squad will be required throughout the season.Take last season, at various times we had holidays, suspensions, injuries, illness and weddings to cope with, this season will be no different (hopefully the discipline will be) so the large squad will be utilised.We will be arranging midweek friendlies at the JC Stadium against good opposition to keep the full squad match fitness levels up.

KRamage50
The club is moving in the right direction both on and off the field. Anything you’d like to see happening at the club that isn’t at the moment?
CSlater50
Your bang on, the club is moving along nicely and we need to keep this progressing. We were in discussions regarding an U19’s or U21’s and thats something we need to progress as a feeder club for the first team.We need to encourage local support which I may add is gradually getting better, hopefully we play a style of football that is enjoyable to watch and would appreciate both vocal & financial support from the towns people.

KRamage50
Who do you see as our toughest opponents in this seasons league campaign?
CSlater50
Being honest, them all, we need to treat them all the same as they are all tough opponents but as I said if we play to our potential then no reason to fear them. Having played at all the Central league teams grounds there are some very tough places to visit this season to come away with 3 points and we will set a formation and certain type of players dependant on the team we are visiting

KRamage50
You’ve been the manager for some time now, who are the best opponents you think we have came up against?
CSlater50
When you say “some time” its my 3rd season, probably the speed the grey hairs coming in at makes you think its longer !!!!!!Theres no team really sticks out although last season Shettleston probably gave us the toughest league games last season and certainly gave us a run around on our home ground.

KRamage50
Anything you’d like to say going into the new season?
CSlater50
It’s going to be another tough one, but one we can handle with the excellent squad we have at our disposal. Andy, Gregg, Ricky and myself will need to discuss each game on its own merit and the personnel chosen from week to week will vary as will the formation if required as we have the personnel to allow us to do this.Looking forward to getting down to league business and would ask the management, playing squad, committee, volunteers, sponsors and supporters to all muck in together and hopefully we can have another successfull season.
 
Finally, big thanks to Andy Britton who has recently sponsored our alternative strip, your support is greatly appreciated mate!

A big thanks to Colin for taking the time out to answer our questions.