Monday 10th August 2020
SAM WARDROP is getting used to being behind closed doors.
He just hopes he doesn’t have to get used to it when he returns to action with Dumbarton.
The right back completed a permanent deal with the club last week, with the paperwork completed electronically while he was on holiday in Spain.
But now that he’s home, as a result of government regulations imposed due to the Covid-19 outbreak, he must stay indoors for two weeks.
Sons don’t have any matches for a while yet, though, with the League One action due to begin on Saturday, October 17 away to Forfar Athletic.
Before that, there will be at least two sectional Betfred Cup ties against any of Kilmarnock, Dunfermline Athletic, Clyde and Falkirk, with the remaining matches in November.
And Sam can’t wait for it all to get started.
Speaking to www.dumbartonfootballclub.com, he said: “I’m delighted to be back and to get it all sorted, especially with all the current uncertainty.
“I spoke to Jim Duffy during the off season and we felt that it would be the best move for me. I know the club well and had some really good spells, so it’s good to get it done on a permanent basis.
“I’m really looking forward to football resuming, and hopefully getting a full season under my belt. It’s a good group of boys who I’ve known from the start of this year.
“It’s still a while away until the league season starts, so we’ll get a few friendlies and good bit of training before that.
“We’ve also got a good group in the Betfred Cup. That will be a good competition for us before the new league season.
“And hopefully the fans can be allowed back in as well.”
Sam’s return completes the retention of the first choice back four which ended last season with Sons. Rico Quitongo, Morgyn Neill and Ryan McGeever are also coming back for the 2020/21 campaign.
It’s something which Sam feels gives them reason to be confident about the new season.
He continued: “I don’t see why we can’t be right up there.
“In my head, I’m always motivated to do the best we can, so why not try to win the league? If that’s not possible, then the top four?
“I don’t see why you would want to aim lower than that. I’ve always wanted to be as successful as I can.
“It’s brilliant to have the back four all on board again. We all know each other and it’s important to have that and it’s a strong foundation for us.
“It’ll give us a major boost going into the season.”
Copyright True Scott Photography 2020
During the extended close season which has lasted since March, Sam has helped friends to stay in shape with online fitness classes.
He’s been happy to see some people from Dumbarton taking part in the workouts – and he’s confident that the workouts will pay off in the new season.
On life without football since March, Sam added: “For me, it’s been different, but not too different, because I missed football for a year when I got injured, so I’ve learned to deal with it.
“I’ve kept myself fit and a few of my friends are footballers as well, so we keep in touch and keep each other motivated.
“It’s easy to let yourself go a bit and get lazy, but having good people around you helps you to stay in shape.
“I feel I’m in good shape – maybe not as good as two weeks ago but my fitness will be back in no time.
“Doing the fitness stuff has been great. There were a few people at Dumbarton getting involved with the online videos, which was great to see.”