Saints to launch friendly fire at the Welfare

Ian Barrett (right) is relishing a return to action for his side.
Ian Barrett (right) is relishing a return to action for his side.
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St Andrews United return to the pitch on Saturday with boss Ian Barrett expecting a tough work out for his side.

Saints host Lochore Welfare in their first friendly after a short pre-season break for the players.

It’s the very first step in their ambitions to win back their Super League status, and a test Barrett is looking forward to.

He said: “I know their manager Andy Healy, who has taken over, and he’ll be keen to get his squad in shape.

“We’ve brought in a few new players who are all looking good in training but this will be a chance to see their character in a game.”

Pre-seasons appear to be getting shorter every year, with Saints’ players getting barely a month off to recharge their batteries after a difficult 2015/16 campaign.

Barrett says times have changed, with pre-season now used to simply blow away any cobwebs.

“Gone are the days when players came back a stone overweight and they ran until they were sick,” said the boss.

“We finished the season on June 4 and the players were back in on June 30 so they only had 26 days off.

“The intensity doesn’t need to be what it used to.”

Barrett has already added to his squad while others have moved on from Barnetts Park.

But his summer shopping isn’t over yet.

“I’d like a centre half and there’s still room for another forward,” he said.