DUNFERMLINE chairman David Cook said that replacing Josh Edwards is a "clear priority" for the club.

The left back departed for Charlton Athletic this week after five years at East End Park and the CEO said they've already identified potential new recruits.

Cook gave a state of the Pars nation address at the end of the first day of pre-season training today (Friday) and touched on everything from season ticket sales and a new academy coach to the kit launch and budget control.

In a statement he said: "Josh gave great service to the club and I thank him for his efforts in the black and white stripes.

"With Miller Fenton also moving on, it is a clear priority for us to fill the position on the left-hand side of the team.

"Discussions are ongoing with several players that have been identified and we continue to explore additional options also.

We have said previously that it is important that we get the right players with the right skills and characters to supplement the good group that we have, and this still remains the case.

"We must also be diligent and prudent with how we maximise the sporting budget available to us."

Cook continued: "We are keen to strengthen the squad and have identified a couple of areas where we want to add to the group.

"Signing a proven goalscorer was a priority for us this summer and we are delighted to welcome back Chris Kane.

"Chris was excellent on and off the pitch during his loan spell and we know the warm welcome Pars fans gave him along with the stature of the club made the choice to return to KDM Group East End Park an easy one."

Budget has been mentioned a lot this summer and, perhaps with that in mind, the Athletic team could have a more youthful look this season.

He explained: "Following a 2023-24 campaign which saw the squad suffer from a raft of injuries, it is really pleasing that all return injury free and ready to go.

"Along with the established first team squad, we will see a number of the younger players step up their involvement in the first team this season after featuring in a Reserve Cup winning team last season.

"Making the investment into the academy only makes sense if we are then willing to give them opportunities and our current management team have great track records at developing young players in first team environments."

On the academy he added that the club are close to appointing a new coach to replace Greg Shields, who left last term.

It's the first time Dunfermline have been able to use their training ground in Rosyth for pre-season training, with James McPake putting the players through their paces on day one.

Cook said work has been continuing at the old civil service club site on Castle Road and went on: "Phase one saw the state-of-the-art artificial pitch installed just prior to the end of last season.

"The start of the second phase will see modular changing facilities on site for the squad during pre-season training.

"This is another exciting development and allows more usage of the site for the first team, academy and foundation."

He added: "We continue to invest into this facility as we think having our own training ground can help differentiate us from the competition, attract talent and provide an environment that we can enhance the development of our players of all ages, along with building deeper connections with our communities."

Athletic will again have strong backing and at this early stage almost 1,900 season tickets have been bought and they "continue to sell steadily day to day".

Pars recently launched a payment option, with Capital Credit Union, to help supporters spread payments across the season, and the chairman encouraged more fans to invest as "it really does help the club not just financially but with brilliant vocal backing".

The new home kit will be launched at tomorrow's open day at the stadium, new training gear will also be available to purchase and online sales will be in place early next week.

The fan zone infrastructure will enable the club to offer fans some extra entertainment and fun, as well as more food and drink options.

He said that opening up the stadium for fans to watch Scotland's matches in the Euros had proved to be a "really popular concept" with close to 3,500 taking in the first two matches.

Cook added: "The events have picked up great local and national coverage and is a great example of the way we can look to use KDM Group East End Park for more major events going forward.

"Tonight we will host a free open air movie night in association with local partner Babcock as families get the chance to watch Thelma and the Unicorn and the Beautiful Game.

"And then it is another huge game on Sunday night to see if Scotland can get a victory versus Hungary which might see us qualify.

"Let’s hope the boys can do it!"

The chairman also passed on "huge thanks" to all of those people who help the club. He said: "Like the volunteers, the supporters efforts are never taken for granted, and I thank you on behalf of the board and investors."