Thursday 4th August 2016

WELCOME to the new league season. Welcome to Sons 24.

For the next 24 hours, Dumbarton’s club website will offer unrivalled build-up to the club’s fifth season in Scotland’s second tier as a part-time side.

When the marathon ends at 3pm on Friday, Sons’ league kick-off, away to League One champions Dunfermline Athletic, will be only 24 hours away.

Here is a welcome to the new season from manager Stevie Aitken, who is aiming to keep the club in the league for the second time over the next nine months. Please note that this was compiled prior to the signings of Daniel Harvie and Alan Martin yesterday.

We can’t wait for the new season.

As soon as we kept our status in the Championship we thought right away about the following campaign. Once the play-offs were played and the Championship line-up was known, it shaped up to be a fantastic league, and another opportunity to show what Dumbarton can do.

Our players will have to take inspiration from what happens before the match at Dunfermline on Saturday. It will be a tough afternoon as they are a huge club, with an incredible number of season tickets sold. However, it’s this sort of occasion you want to be involved in and challenge yourself. Every week we will be looking to challenge ourselves, and hopefully the players can take this Saturday’s experience on board.

It has been a frustrating and difficult close season – those are probably the best words to describe it. The players’ application in training and games has been terrific and there have been no problems on that front. However, we picked up some knocks and with the Betfred Cup starting so early, our resources have been limited. We knew the squad would be smaller than it will be for our league fixtures as players were agreed to come from the start of August.

We were disappointed how it turned out, although I thought we dominated the game at Forfar, for the first half at Dundee and for long spells against Peterhead. The real downside was the East Fife game. However, it is in the past now.

We have had to cut back on the playing squad this season. Last season we used too many players and had to restructure a bit. What is more, most of the players we have been without in the Betfred Cup ties play in roughly the same position. However, all of the players we have signed over the close season have settled in really well, and we are hopeful of more to follow. My target is to bring in three or four new signings this week.

Enjoy the new league season, and keep up the support which you gave us home and away in the 2015/16 campaign. It is very much appreciated and we will be doing our best to reward you with the same outcome as last season.

Join the debate @dumbartonfc and #sons24

Andy Galloway

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