Keeper is now a priority with McCaldon out

BERWICK begin the build-up to the new season this weekend with their first friendly against a strong Hibernian side at Shielfield on Saturday.

The SPL side will provide Rangers with some tough opposition, but Borderers boss Jimmy Crease has a few niggling problems to sort out - not least the fact that he is going into the season with a first choice goalkeeper.

That’s because Ian McCaldon, who has put pen to paper on a new deal, has now been ruled out for the start after dislocating a disc in his back.

“Ian had been away on holiday and everything was fine,” said Crease, “but he hurt himself getting out of bed and now we find ourselves in a position where I am searching around for another late signing as cover. I have been talking to one or two keepers, and I am hopeful one will be in place by the weekend, but as you can understand, it’s very frustrating when something like this happens so late in the day.”

Berwick have confirmed this week that popular wing-back Stevie Notman has agreed a new deal and will be back in the black and gold next season.

Notman originally had concerns about signing a new deal after being elected Standard Bearer at Innerleithen.

But Crease was keen to retain his services and so he has agreed a new contract.

And he will be joined in the squad by Stephen Thomson, a left back, who previously had a loan spell at Shielfield, and who has just been released by Stenhousemuir.

“We have shaken hands on a deal and the paperwork will go through shortly,” said Crease.

Rangers have also completed the transfer of highly rated defender Chris Townsley, who joins the club from Spartans.

Crease says that he has had as many as 24 players in for pre-season training, but like a lot of other clubs he is finding it increasingly difficult to tie players down when there are so many places still up for grabs.

“Some teams have only signed five or six players,” said the Berwick boss. “Travelling is always an issue, and that uis why so many of them are hanging off to the last minute before commiting themselves. As it is training has been going well. We were down on the dunes at Gullane last weekend and I am sure that once we get a couple of games under our belts everyone will be up to speed, ready for the kick-off.”