New Kilsyth Rangers boss Gary Kelly targets promotion to top flight

New Kilsyth Rangers manager Gary Kelly
New Kilsyth Rangers manager Gary Kelly

New Kilsyth Rangers manager Gary Kelly has no fears about aiming for the top in his first job as a manager.

The former Kilsyth player was delighted to be given the chance to return to the club and take up the managerial reins following Kevin McGoldrick's departure to Stenhousemuir.

And he is in doubt where he wants to take the club; into the top flight of junior football.

Kelly has been coaching age group teams at Dunipace since leaving Duncansfield, but felt the opportunity to return to Kilsyth as manager was too good to turn down.

He said: "Having been at the club as a player I know about the club, behind the scenes, the committee. It's a great club to be involved in and a fantastic opportunity for me in my first real role in management.

"In my eyes a club the size of Kilsyth should be playing in the top division, so it's got to be promotion for us to be honest.

"Kevin McGoldrick's left the club in a reasonable position in terms of where we are in the league. It's still early days but in this league any team that can put a consistent run together will be up there and that's our aim, to get that level of consistency."

Kelly got off to a winning start in last week's Scottish Junior Cup tie at Craigmark Burntonians, but admits the postponement of the match the previous weekend proved a blessing in disguise.

READ MORE: Kilsyth see off Craigmark in Scottish Junior Cup

He said: "I only got the job on the Saturday so I wasn't going to be part of the game. Stuart Livingstone, who is my assistant, was going to take the team.

"But it was good that it was off because it gave us a week to get in and see the boys in training, see what we had and let them get used to us a wee bit.

"It's still very early days and we only had two sessions so we're still getting used to the boys and the boys are getting used to us. But they did exactly what we set out on Saturday and got the goals.

"It was dominant from start to finish and getting through was the most important thing."

That secured another trip to Ayrshire to face Premiership side Troon in the next round. But before then Kelly and Kilsyth's attention will turn to their Championship campaign, starting with Saturday's visit to face in-form Blantyre Vics, who are unbeaten in eight matches in league and cup and have won their last seven.

Kelly said: "Blantyre are on a great run but we need to go there confident in our own ability and confident that we can get something from the game.

"These are the games that we need to win if we are going to be up there challenging at the end of the season."