May 30 2012 by Colin Paterson, Airdrie & Coatbridge
Albion Rovers forward Robert Love
ROBERT LOVE says he called time on his two-year spell at Albion Rovers because he’s ready for a fresh challenge.
The 23-year-old forward signed for Stranraer just days after condemning the Blues to another season in the Irn-Bru Third Division.
Love was on target for Rovers, who defeated Keith Knox’s side on penalties in the Second Division promotion play-off final.
But he will be part of the Stair Park outfit’s promotion push next term after agreeing a one-year deal.
There were mixed emotions for Love as he put pen to paper at Stranraer.
But he believes the move is the right one for his career, saying: “The last two years have been absolutely incredible at Rovers.
“But the time is right for me to leave and I’m looking forward to a new challenge next season.
“I’d like to thank all of the fans for their support and thank the manager, Paul Martin, for giving me a chance to express myself in the team.
“The memories of getting promoted last season and staying up this season will live with me for a long time.”
Love says the highlight of his time at Rovers was scoring a hat-trick in the 3-1 promotion play-off final win over Annan Athletic 12 months ago.
He added: “That was a great night but so was being part of the team that won the derby against Airdrie 7-2.
“We blew them away that day and it was even more special given they hammered us 4-0 earlier in the season.”
Now Love is desperate to make an impact at Stranraer and has drawn comparisons with the situation he was in at Rovers.
He added: “I had four or five offers but Stranraer appealed. I want to play in an attacking team.
“The manager is a bit like Paul in that he is young and enthusiastic. Stranraer are on a tight budget, like Rovers, but want success.”
Meanwhile, Rovers have signed former Elgin City striker Jason Crooks on a one-year deal.
But Joseph Acquah, Danny McKay and Paul Quinn have been released.
Midfielder Stevie Canning has retired and back-up keeper Chris Fahey has re-joined Juniors outfit Cumnock.