Thursday 4th August 2016

FOR Craig Pettigrew, it is better late than never.

The defender is 29. He’s won two league titles with one of his previous clubs, and the Scottish Junior Cup three times in four attempts.

With a CV like that, and at his age, it may come as a surprise that he’s never played in the second tier of Scottish football.

But after two successful seasons with Stranraer, which followed six in the junior ranks with Auchinleck Talbot, he’s made it.

The right back became one of Dumbarton’s first signings for the new season after the Stair Park club lost in the play-off final to his only other former senior club, Ayr United.

And it’s an opportunity he’s determined to make the most of right from Saturday’s big kick-off at Dunfermline.

He said: “Before I had my two years at Stranraer I’d been at Auchinleck in the juniors for six years, and then Stevie Aitken gave me my chance at Stair Park.

“I had to take the opportunity to move up a division when it came along, as you might never get one like it again.

“It was a relief to get the chance after Stranraer lost the play-off final, although I would have re-signed there if I hadn’t had the offer from Dumbarton.

“I’m really pleased that it’s come my way, and having won every trophy there was to win with Auchinleck, I have tested myself at senior level and now look forward to moving up a division.”

Craig admitted to disappointment at Sons’ Betfred Cup campaign, which ended with two points and no victories picked up.

However, that hasn’t impacted on his anticipation of the league campaign kicking off, and he is confident of making an impression in the Championship.

He added: “The Betfred Cup has been disappointing. In the friendlies we did well in spells, but in the cup ties we were looking to do better.

“We’ve played well in parts of those games but the results haven’t been kind to us and at other times we haven’t been at it and been punished for mistakes.

“But we have a few new players in and it’s taken a bit of time to bed everybody in.

“We are now getting ready for the league campaign to start and I think the manager plans to get more players in. Everybody is looking forward to it.

“We have to be confident of giving it a good shot. We have good players in the team and if we are firing on all cylinders then we can do well.

“We know we will be underdogs in the league as there will be eight full-time teams, but we are confident.”

Join the debate @dumbartonfc and #sons24

Andy Galloway

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