Thursday 4th August 2016

FOR Mark Brown, the past few weeks have been an opportunity.

A chance for him to show what he can do, having played only two Ladbrokes SPFL Championship games so far in 2016.

Since January 2 against Rangers, a 1-0 defeat at St Mirren in February has been the keeper’s only outing in the league.

He has also played in two William Hill Scottish Cup ties, and all four of the recent Betfred Cup sectional matches.

Now, while sympathising with injured Jamie Ewings, who replaced him midway through last season, he is determined to get his starting place back.

He said: “Obviously I was disappointed to lose my place last season when I got ill, but Jamie came in and did fantastically well. I had no complaints.

“He has been unfortunate to pick up his injury, but I will have to play when I am selected.

“I am hopeful of being first choice again but you never know what is around the corner. I think that goes for every player.”

Despite Mark saving two penalties in the shootout, Saturday’s tie with Peterhead ensured Sons ended their Betfred Cup section without a win.

But that is in the past now, and the keeper is looking forward to going to Dunfermline for Saturday’s league opener.

And he hopes that this season’s goal of survival can be achieved without too much of a struggle, despite a tough campaign in prospect.

He added: “The cup results were disappointing but the first game in the league is always an exciting time, not just for the players, but everybody around. You can see that in the build-up this week.

“There will be a big crowd at Dunfermline on Saturday but it’s exciting times for us as well. We’re going there to try to put a dampener on their celebrations.

“It will be a difficult game. I’ve played there many times and it is a hard place to go. They are a well-supported team and the fans get behind them.

“They did great last year and won League One pretty convincingly. But there have been signs of improvement with us recently.

“The first halves at Dundee and Peterhead showed some positive signs. The season has been a bit of a slow burner for us but we are starting to gel.

“We are under no illusions as to how difficult it will be this season. Avoiding relegation is our first aim but we will try and push towards the middle of the table.

“There’s a lot of quality coming into the league. If we can avoid relegation without being dragged into a fight, it will be a successful season.”

Join the debate @dumbartonfc and #sons24

Andy Galloway

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