Aberdeenshire AFA

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Four New Coaches Take Over Rattrays In Dramatic Turnaround

‘Things Will Be Different This Time’

Report by Andy McLaren

New Rattrays co-manager Derek Hardy today hailed his decision to join the Aberdeen outfit as the most exciting challenge he has faced in football.

Derek, along with fellow co-managers Sandy Salmon, David Grant and Alan Kelly have all taken over the reins from Martin Allan as they aim to guide Rattrays to Amateur football’s top flight for the first time since 2006.

Derek has been in football management since 1982, having been at a variety of clubs including Glentanar, East End and Dyce Amateurs.

The 52-year-old enjoyed his most successful spell with Sunnybank Amateurs, guiding the Heathryfold outfit to two successive Premier Division titles in 2005 and 2006.

And Derek admits he is looking to use his past success with junior and amateur teams to fire Rattrays into next season’s Premier Division.

He said: “The coaching has been world class throughout the pre-season and the boys have loved every second of it so far.

“After some time away from the game, I still wasn’t missing football as it was very time consuming and I was busy at work.

“An ex Rattrays player came to me and said they were looking for a manager.

“With the history Rattrays have and because they have only won a single trophy, I thought it was time to make a difference to the club.

“Over the past few years, Rattrays have tried to offer a quick fix with a variety of managers taking charge but this will be different.

“We are all here to stay for the long term and I’m confident we can turn the club into being a driving force within Amateur football.”

The Aberdeen outfit signed 14 new players during pre-season, including six footballers from South Africa.

A penalty from Derek Yeats was enough to secure a crucial 1-0 victory over rivals Bervie Caley earlier this week.

The win means the Division One (East) side now sit in second place behind leaders Ellon Amateurs.

Rattrays were formed in 1947, making them the oldest team in Amateur football.

But Derek is determined to create more history with the new squad he has assembled over the summer.

“Going back to Junior football would mean spending 10 hours per week focussing on a squad of players and I’m not prepared to do that,” said Derek.

“The facilities we have at Heathryfold will allow us to compete with the best in the league.

“I knew I could go into the changing room and not have to worry about things such as washing kit and collecting sweeper money which is why all my focus is going into developing the team.

“The new faces we have brought in will help move the side to bigger and better things.”