ARBROATH manager Paul Sheerin has described the re-signing of last season’s top scorer Gavin Swankie as a “massive boost” ahead of the new campaign.
After weeks of speculation over where he would pledge his future, Swankie put pen to paper at his hometown club on Tuesday afternoon for another 12 months.
The hitman netted 26 times last season and was a key part of the team that brought the first piece of silverware to Gayfield with the Third Division trophy.
And the boss told HeraldSport he was delighted to get the former St Johnstone and Dundee player back on board.
He said: “Getting Gavin Swankie to sign is a massive boost not just for me but for everyone.
“The supporters will be delighted as they may have thought things were moving a bit slow and the board were also wanting to move things on as they were getting impatient.
“He had spoken to a couple of other clubs but he decided they weren’t quite right for him.
“But the club have been able to make him a generous offer and I understand he has had the offer of a job as well so part-time football is the best thing for him at the minute.”
Swankie signing on the dotted line means that next season he will be able to continue his strike partnership with Steven Doris who has also pledged his services for the campaign.
And Mr Sheerin added that he believes they will be a threat again in the Second Division.
He explained: “I think they got 44 goals between them last season, so I’m sure they will be a formidable partnership again.
“In my opinion they are capable of doing that again at the next level.
“But there will also be pressure on them as new signing Jordan Elverson has been looking good in training up to now and will keep them on their toes.”
There was another boost with the news Craig Wedderburn has also re-signed for the new season after spending part of last term at Gayfield.
The defender has been released by Raith Rovers but the boss is hoping for a couple more additions in the next couple of days.
He added: “I am hopeful that we will tie up another midfielder soon and then I will be looking to add a couple of squad players.
“We will probably be looking at a squad of around 18 so it will be tighter but we have a few young boys in the under-17s who have done well in pre-season training.
“So we will keep developing them and see how they go.”
It is only three days until the Lichties kick-off their first pre-season friendly against St Johnstone and additional warm-up has been arranged for July 16 at Gayfield against local rivals Montrose.
And Mr Sheerin is itching to get back out on the park again.
He said: “The Montrose game is going to be very competitive and I’m sure it won’t be like a usual friendly due to the rivalry.
“With the first game on Monday night, it seems to have come around quick but the boys seemed to have remained in really good condition.”