Saints seek the right mix of youth and experience

St Andrews United boss Ian Barrett is understandably keen to make a quick return to the Super League, after the disappointment of relegation.

The gaffer will be trying out some exploratory line-ups and aiming to make a couple of new personnel changes before the new campaign begins.

The players gathered last night (Thursday) for the start of pre-season training and Barrett said: “The hard work starts here.”

Saints’ close-season fixture diary begins in mid-July and, so far, one new player has joined the ranks – Michael Fleming, from Oakley.

Barrett is in discussions with a couple of other players he was hoping to recruit, but no deals had been finalised yet.

Meanwhile, two players, Darren Clarkson and Aaron Whitehead, have left for Lochee United.

“We’re trying to get the right blend between youth and experience, and trying to get the mix right,” said Barrett.

“I would like to get straight back up – the whole ethos is to get back straight away.”

The Barnetts Park club welcome Lochore Welfare on July 16, followed by Leven United three days later.

Saints host the Abbeyford Cup from July 23-24, with matches against Greig Park Rangers, Lochee United and East Craigie, before visiting Hermes FC on July 30.

A friendly with Dundonald Bluebell on August 6 is off, as that is the day the new season begins.