New Carluke Rovers signing poised for debut against team he broke his leg against last season

New Carluke Rovers signing Craig Stark is poised to make his playing return against the side he broke a leg against when playing for previous club Lanark United around nine months ago.

Goal action from a 3-3 draw between Newmains and Carluke Rovers in 2018. The sides will meet this Saturday. (Pic by Kevin Ramage)

The start of the inaugural six-team Lanarkshire League this Saturday sees Carluke travel to play organisers Newmains, KO 2pm, and defender Stark will come up against opposition which holds unhappy memories for him.

"Craig got a serious injury when playing against Newmains last season so fingers crossed it will go OK this time,” Rovers manager Mark Weir told the Carluke and Lanark Gazette.

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"After his injury layoff Craig was away training with a personal trainer and now he’s looking to get back in.

"I invited him into training and to a bounce game we had on Saturday against our under-20s (a previously arranged friendly against West Calder was ditched as they couldn’t field a team) and made up my mind that he would be a great addition to the squad.

“Craig showed up very well in the game. He set the scoring on the way with the first goal with a great header from a corner.

"He is six foot plus which we were lacking a wee bit so I’m glad that I’ve got him in.”

Weir stressed that his new signing is no relation to the Lanark United legend of the same name, a good friend who spent 16 years at Moor Park.

"I hope Craig is as good as the old Starky, but if Craig’s as good as him I’m onto a winner.

"I still stay in touch with Starky. I actually tried to get him involved with myself on the coaching side of things but he’s got other commitments.”

Also involved in the new league are Carluke’s local rivals Forth Wanderers, with manager Thomas Devine keen to rotate his squad as much as possible to assess their fitness in this Saturday’s home opener against Bellshill Athletic.

"I think this new league is a great thing,” Devine said. “Having these five games lined up has made the job easier.

"It will set us up pretty good for the new West of Scotland League campaign and will allow us to get not only our own players signed, but guys who want to come down (triallists) so we can have a look at them and give them some game time. I think our final squad number will be round about the 20 mark.”