Carluke Rovers snap up Ryan Watt ahead of league opener at Gartcairn
With an odd number of teams in the West of Scotland League Conference B Carluke were the unfortunate side who had to sit out the opening day action on Saturday.
Not that they were idle. Mark Weir’s side travelled to Sanquhar to play South of Scotland League side Nithsdale Wanderers in a friendly and won 3-2 – although they had to come from two down at half-time.
Two of Carluke’s goals came from ex-Albion Rovers striker Ryan Watt, who has been training with the club and not surprisingly has now been signed permanently by Weir.
"I brought Ryan in a few weeks ago for training and just saw something there to give him a shot,” said the Carluke gaffer. “He came on and did exceptionally well to score two goals and I was delighted for him.
“He's a striker and that's somewhere myself and [assistant] Kenny [Neill] have been looking to strengthen.”
"I was a bit disappointed in the two goals we lost and we were 2-0 down at half-time. But we had a good chit chat with them and they gave us a great performance in the second half."
Weir is under no illusions that Gartcairn will provide challenging opposition for his side’s opener, and that the league itself will be tough.
But he believes he has a squad which can make an impact, once everyone is available.
He said: “Gartcairn is a very tough place to go at the best of times, never mind going there with half a squad with guys injured and on holiday.
"But we're looking forward to the game; it will be what it is. I'll also look to bring in some of my 20s as well because I'm short in numbers, but we'll go there and give it our all.
"I'm looking to be in the top half and then anything above that I will be delighted.
"I think we have got a squad that's capable of being there or thereabouts once everybody's back and fit so I don't see why we can't be up there nearer the top.
"It's going to be a tough league, but there's some great games in there for us."
After their Gartcairn opener Carluke play their first home match on Saturday, against Royal Albert.