Ex-Dundee & Celtic defender Barry Smith charged with revitalising Raith Rovers with move from East Fife

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RAITH ROVERS are set to unveil Barry Smith as their new manager on Tuesday afternoon.

The former Dundee, Alloa Athletic and Aldershot Town boss will be charged with immediately winning promotion back to the Championship following the shock of the club’s relegation earlier this month via the play-offs.

The 43-year-old has spent the last six months in charge of East Fife and took them to the brink of the play-offs after taking over from Gary Naysmith.

However, he was always keen to return to full-time management and Rovers’ decision not to go part-time in League One has opened up an opportunity for the ex-Dundee and Celtic defender.

It is understood Smith’s willingness to commit to Raith’s desire to promote their youth players, who took the SPFL Development League East title this season under Craig Easton, helped him see off competition from Forfar boss Gary Bollan for the post.

Stark’s Park chief executive Eric Drysdale has also stressed the club’s search was for someone to not only get the club back out of League One but up into the Premiership.

He said last week: “We’re now in League One so we need somebody that has the tools to get us out of of there, and then continue that progression.

“Whilst the immediate aim, clearly, is to get back into the Championship, the ultimate aim is to get to the Premiership.

“Rome wasn’t build in a day but that is the direction of travel, and that’s where we want to get to.

“We need to appoint a manager who can take us on the whole journey and not just the first step.”

Smith’s first job will be to rebuild the threadbare squad he has inherited, with just seven players definitely under contract for next season and likely rivals for promotion, such as Ayr United, already making impressive signings.

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