Rangers sign two new goalkeepers

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Berwick, who kick off their pre-season programme this weekend have added to their squad by signing two new goalkeepers.

Rangers, who will face Ashington away on Sunday (July 7), have signed Paul Grant on loan from Hibernian, and Billy Bald, who previously played with Penicuik.

Either, or both, could play some part in Sunday’s fixture, according to assistant manager Robbie Horn.

Grant will start out as first choice keeper. The 20 year-old played one first team game for the Easter Road outfit last season, and Horn said they were looking forward to working with him.

Bald, meanwhile, was previously on the books of Fernieside and St Mirren and will start out as back-up to Grant.

Last week Berwick confirmed that Fraser McLaren will not be returning to the club for the new season after turning down the offer of a new deal.

The attacking midfielder scored ten goals last season, including two against Rangers, but he has turned down the offer of an extension.

A statement issued by the club said: “The Club would like to thank Fraser for his efforts in a Black and Gold shirt, and wish him well for the future.”

Horn said: “It was a surprise that Fraser decided not to come back, but we have a rigid pay scale at the club and we have to stick with it.”

Last weekend McLaren played as a trialist for Clyde in a pre-season friendly and there has been interest shown by at least one other club.

“I think Fraser will get himself fixed up somewhere,” said Horn, “and we wish him well.”

Berwick, who have had six training sessions already in their build-up to the season, hope to include a number of trialists in their forthcoming games.

Horn says he and manager Ian little are keen to add ‘two or three players’ to their existing squad, including another centre half, an attacking wide man and another striker.

“It’s not easy at this time of year,” said Horn. “Some players are still on holiday and others are holding out to the last minute trying to get the best deal.

“In saying that I don’t think we are doing too badly at the moment. We have a decent squad, and there are a number of players coming through from the Reserves who will all be keen to prove their worth.”

With last year’s skipper Chris Townsley having left the club to join East Stirling, Horn says the management are still undecided as to who should weat the captain’s arm band in 2013-14.

“There are two or three candidates,” he said, “and we will be looking at our options shortly.”

Sunday’s game against Ashington had originally been planned for Saturday, but was switched because of ‘other commitments.’

Berwick will also play Oxford, Forfar, Brechin, Whitehill, Musselburgh Juniors and Tranent in the build-up to their competitive campaign, which will kick off on Saturday, July 27 against Livingston in the Ramsdens Cup.

They will also play a League Cup game on August 3 before their league programme opens on August 10, away to Clyde.