Berwick Rangers defender Ryan Finnie glad to be back in action on loan at Cowdenbeath

Berwick Rangers defender Ryan Finnie says he’s glad to be back in action after joining League Two side Cowdenbeath on loan.

By Fraser McLuggage
Tuesday, 23rd March 2021, 9:07 am
Updated Tuesday, 23rd March 2021, 9:13 am
Ryan Finnie playing for Berwick Rangers against Bo'ness United in the Scottish Lowland Football League in November (Photo: Scott Louden)
Ryan Finnie playing for Berwick Rangers against Bo'ness United in the Scottish Lowland Football League in November (Photo: Scott Louden)

The 26-year-old has signed up with the Fifers until the end of the season to get back on the pitch while his regular team remain out of action due to the suspension of lower league football since January 11 as part of efforts to curb the spread of coronavirus.

Finnie played all 90 minutes of Cowdenbeath’s goalless draw against Annan Athletic, one of his old sides, on Saturday, March 20, and his new team play Partick Thistle in the Scottish Cup tonight, March 23, prior to hosting Stranraer this coming weekend in the league.

He’s stayed fit during his enforced lay-off ready to return to action, he says, explaining: “Berwick gave us a programme at the start of lockdown and I have kept that up as well as other sessions throughout the week, so I have been working hard.”

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“I set myself the target this year to get back into League Two, and with the Lowland League being off just now, I had to keep myself fit all the way through lockdown.

“I’m more than comfortable playing at this level. Sometimes when players make that step down, it can be hard to get back out.”

Though Cowdenbeath sit third from bottom with eight points from nine games, Finnie, at Rangers since October last year, playing in 13 of their 16 games since then, believes the Blue Brazil have got what it takes to mount a late challenge for a play-off place.

“It can be an exciting league. Anybody can beat anybody, and all of the squads are pretty even except Queen’s Park, who have strengthened,” he said.

“If you win three games, then you could be up fighting for a play-off place, and if you lose a few, then you can find yourself slipping down to the bottom of the​​​​​​ table.

“I want to do the best I can for the team and try to make an impact as we push for a chance at promotion.

“We just need a good run of games. I think every team is there to beat, and I think Cowdenbeath have a strong enough squad to make that push.”

Queen’s Park also being among his former teams, along with Alloa Athletic and Hamilton Academical, Finnie is no stranger to Scottish football’s top four tiers, and he’s also aware of the extra challenge presented by a packed schedule of catch-up fixtures after over two months off.

“The games are coming thick and fast,” he said. “It’ll be every Saturday and Tuesday to squeeze a lot of games into a short space of time.

“We will be training once a week, so you need to keep yourself ticking over the rest of the week.”

Finnie, from Law in South Lanarkshire, says he’s pleased to be working with Cowdenbeath boss Gary Bollan, formerly a player for the likes of Rangers and Dundee United, after years of being on opposing sides.

“He is someone I have always known on the touchline,” said the right-back. “I have played against his teams since I was really young. I played against him when I was on loan at Dumbarton when I was 17 and we got promoted in the play-off final.”

It’s not yet known when, or even if, this year’s Lowland League season will resume.

The Northumbrians currently sit in 11th place with 16 points from 13 games.

A spokesperson for Rangers said: “When the Blue Brazil approached, the player expressed a desire to join them and, with plenty of options in central defence for when the Lowland League season resumes – including Jack Cook, David Ferguson, Kevin Waugh, Craig Reid, Euan Smith and Ali Forster – the club agreed to allow him to leave on loan.

"The club would like to wish Ryan all the best for his loan spell.”