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Saturday, 20 September 2014

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Ex-Gretna boss's new youth role with Annan Athletic

Former Gretna manager Rowan Alexander, who was sacked in acrimonious circumstances by the doomed ex-SPL club, is back in football with Annan Athletic.

Rowan Alexander photo
Rowan Alexander

Alexander has been appointed part-time head of youth with the Scottish Division Three club.

He will coach youngsters aged from five to 17 to try to unearth future players for Annan manager Harry Cairney.

His former No2 at Gretna Davie Irons yesterday resigned as manager of Stenhousemuir.

Irons steered the Second Division club away from relegation and took them to a fifth-place finish last season, their highest standing in 12 years.

Alexander has been out of football since his bitter split from Gretna when he was sacked in November 2007, before claiming he was owed £800,000 by the club which crashed with massive debts less than a year later.

The man who took Gretna to the 2006 Scottish Cup Final was placed on sick leave in March 2007 as the now defunct club’s First Division title challenge faltered, before the club launched disciplinary proceedings against him.

Alexander, who was replaced in the hot-seat by his former No2 Davie Irons, was then refused entry when he tried to gatecrash their opening SPL fixture against Falkirk.

After failed attempts to return to the full-time game, the 51-year-old former Greenock Morton striker has now been given a part-time role at Annan.

Chairman Henry McClelland said: “It will be very much a hands-on role as he will be involved in the coaching side.

“We want to bring players through in a proper, structured manner and we hope Rowan will pass on skills to youngsters.

“We advertised the job and Rowan lives in the town so he expressed an interest.”

Former Carlisle United defender Steve Swinglehurst, who spent much of last season on loan at Annan, has joined the club permanently following his release from Brunton Park.

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