Neil Oliver relishing new challenge at Coldstream

Neil Oliver has taken over as the new manager at Coldstream
Neil Oliver has taken over as the new manager at Coldstream

New Coldstream manager Neil Oliver wants to build on what has already been achieved by his predecessor at Home Park.

The 46-year-old from Berwick, who met the players after last night’s 2-1 defeat to Gala Fairydean Rovers in a friendly at Netherdale, accepted the job after an interview on Monday night before heaping praise on the man he has replaced.

Oliver takes over from Andrew Gibson, who resigned last month due to work commitments and was followed by assistant Stevie Roughead and coach Mark Dryden.

“The lads that have been here before have done a great job. First and foremost, that must be acknowledged,” said Oliver, who played for Coldstream as a youngster before embarking on a professional career at Berwick Rangers, Blackburn Rovers, Falkirk, Hamilton, Clydebank and East Fife.

He became a coach at Berwick Rangers Reserves before taking charge at Duns. Oliver was asked to stand down as Duns manager at the end of August after a poor start to the season. But he is widely respected for the job he did, dominating the Border Amateur League, taking the club back into the East of Scotland League and building a strong youth system.

“Coldstream already have a strong squad,” Oliver added. “I know a lot of the players and I’ve worked with some of them before.

“I’m looking forward to a new challenge. I’m not setting any targets. I want the players to enjoy their football.

“I was very impressed with what the committee had to say. The club is very well run and everything is in place.

“I’m hoping to build on what has been achieved on and off the park and take it on.”

The interim management team of Allan Wilson and Phil Johnson oversaw last night’s friendly at Gala, while Oliver watched from the stand. Gala came from behind to win after John Crawford put had Coldstream ahead.

On-loan Whitehill duo Chris Dolan and Gary Shearer made their first appearance in a Coldstream jersey. Both made a good impression, however Dolan had to be carried off with an ankle injury ten minutes from the end.

Oliver takes charge for the first time away to Burntisland Shiyard in the first round of the King Cup on Saturday.

Oliver will lean on Johnson and Wilson in the short term and may also add Stephen Lennon, his former assistant at Duns, to the backroom staff.

Johnson said: “The players have worked hard over the past few weeks and are looking forward to working with the new manager. Neil did a very good job at Duns and his footballing CV speaks for itself. His appointment is fantastic news for everyone involved with the club.”