Derek McKenzie will take his Under 20’s to Fife today looking to secure a place in the 2nd round of the Scottish Youth Cup. A win would see the ‘Gers handed a tie against Ian Little’s Livingston side. McKenzie revealed that the club are doing all they can to give its youngsters the best possible chance of winning the tie.
“We’re training in the morning at the ground of Kelty Hearts which will allow us to go through some of the basics such as set-piece routines. It’ll be particularly useful for the guys who have spent time away with the first-team, who maybe aren’t up to speed on that front.
“After that, we’ll have lunch together as a team, maybe have a walk and then travel the ten minutes through to East End Park for the 2pm kick-off.”
Berwick Rangers Team News:
First-team boss John Coughlin will also be at today’s game to cast an eye over his next generation, and he revealed that he has also made first-teamers Euan Bauld, Barry Hogg, Sean Brennan and Jordan Orru available to McKenzie.
Coughlin said: “We’ll have a good go at it – we’re happy to throw our resources at it and see what we can do. The club are more than happy to spend a few quid to make sure it’s a memorable day for the guys.”
Berwick’s chances are also boosted by the availability of their other Under 20’s players, with all players having declared themselves fit and ready for the clash.
McKenzie revealed: “We’ve ensured that all our players who are out on loan played no part for their respective clubs yesterday.
“With the new rules, we’ll only be able to get three substitutes on the park, so the reality is that there’ll be some disappointed faces, but I’ll be looking for how they react to it to learn more about my squad ahead of the start of the season.”
Dunfermline Athletic Team News:
Derek McKenzie watched on as Dunfermline got their Development League season off to a winning start in midweek against a St Johnstone under 20’s side that featured Berwick’s newest signing Greg Hurst, but despite the win McKenzie admitted it was difficult to learn much from the game.
“They looked a very good side with some decent players, but they were full of overage players from the first-team, and also fielded a trialist striker in the form of Farid El Alagui.
“It’s the second time we’ve watched them and both times they’ve been made stronger by the use of first-team players, so it has been tough to gauge just how good they really are as an Under 20’s side.”
Scott Annandale will be the man tasked with taking charge of the 1st round clash.