Albion Rovers want to push East Kilbride for Lowland League title this season, says new boy Kai Kirkpatrick

-Credit: (Image: Albion Rovers)
-Credit: (Image: Albion Rovers)

New Albion Rovers signing Kai Kirkpatrick insists the club are in it to win it this season and are determined to push for the Lowland League title.

The Cliftonhill club finished a disappointing ninth last season in their first campaign since being relegated from SPFL League Two, but they want to make a fist of it this term.

Midfielder Kirkpatrick was one of three fresh faces unveiled last week, alongside fellow midfielder Callum Home and defender Marcus Lavery.

And the former Cumbernauld Colts and East Kilbride player, who helped Colts push champions EK for much of last season, said: “We need to challenge for the title. We are not here to finish mid-table. The fans want us to win it and they feel that’s where Albion Rovers should be. I think all the boys think that as well and we want to challenge for the league this season.

“We are not just here to take part and, hopefully, we can win the league. The way [boss] Sandy [Clark] spoke when I had a chat with him, I thought this would be a great move for me. I am happy to be here. It’s a good set of boys, they work hard and do the graft. Training has been tough but that is exactly what we need right now, it makes it easier when you start.”

Kirkpatrick made his first outing for Rovers in Saturday’s 2-1 win over Cumbernauld United in a pre-season friendly at Cliftonhill. He was denied a debut goal due to some last-ditch defending from the visitors, but he was pleased to be getting into the right areas.

Kai Kirkpatrick is unveiled by Albion Rovers -Credit:ARFC
Kai Kirkpatrick is unveiled by Albion Rovers -Credit:ARFC

He added: “I came close to a goal but I’m getting in the right positions, which is a good start. I just need to get that end product now and start to get my numbers up. I’ve got minutes in the legs that I need so I’m happy with that.

“I caught the ball well [at the big chance] but the defender was in the right place and it hit off his chest. On another day that probably goes in.

“It just wasn’t coming off for me but I’d rather do that in pre-season and then when the season really starts I can get the goals up, which will lead towards wins for the team.”

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