Thursday 16th June 2022

FORTY days on, it has all begun again.

And as Dumbarton returned to the training pitch tonight, the start is a fresh one.

Whether returning to the club from last season, or being a new signing, every player who took part in tonight’s first pre-season training session was looking forward.

With manager Stevie Farrell away in Portugal with his family, his assistant Frank McKeown oversaw tonight’s session.

And he was delighted with what he saw, with the players ready to start the preparations for the 2022/23 season.

Speaking to, Frank said: “It was brilliant. It’s great to get back to the training pitch.

“The players have been itching for weeks to get the first session underway. They have come back in great shape and they are a good group.

“The boys we have signed, we did enough research on them, spoke to enough people, and watched them enough, to know they would fit into what we were looking for.

“The mood among the players is excellent; they are just raring to go. Last season has gone now, there is nothing we can do about it and we just need to look forward.

“The players we have kept this year are looking to put a few wrongs right, and we have added players to supplement them.

“There will also be a bit of movement before the transfer window closes, but we are delighted with what we have to date.

“A young goalkeeper was involved in training tonight and showed up really well with some good saves, but that is early days yet. We will get a look over a couple more sessions.”

It is not lost on the players or management that Dumbarton FC is celebrating a special anniversary this season – and the desire is there to mark it suitably.

But although Stevie is hundreds of miles away, he is keeping his voice heard around the squad.

Frank continued: “I’ve literally just cut him off the phone. We usually speak three or four times a day, by text or phone, especially during the close season when we are talking to players.

“We’re trying to push forward, with the sports scientist and video analyst we have brought in, and keep working behind the scenes.

“I personally think it’s down to us to ensure we go and show, in the club’s 150th year, that we can really go and get the club back where it belongs.

“That is at the top end of leagues, and challenging. That is where every club wants to be, but we will work away quietly and do what we need to.

“When the time comes for the cup and league games to start, we can be ready, and we will be ready. We will ensure that happens.

“I want an exciting team on the pitch, and for the fans to be able to enjoy coming to watch us play, see us get three points and enjoy the weekend.

“And I think the players we have can do that.”

Tomorrow’s cinch League Two fixture release is another giant step towards the season – but Frank is relaxed as to where it will all start on matchday one on Saturday, July 30.

He added: “I think everybody just wants to get the season going, regardless of where you play. We will take any fixture and look to start with three points and kick on.

“There is work to do before that in terms of training, friendlies and cup games, but regardless of where we are, we will be ready.”

Dumbarton Football Club

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