Sun, sea and sweat as Saints taketo the pitch...and beach

Saints are put through their paces ahead of the big kick-off.
Saints are put through their paces ahead of the big kick-off.

It’s the time of the season every footballer dreads, when the boots are left in the dressing room and replaced by running trainers.

A necessary evil to make sure the summer rust is shaken off, pre-season training has resumed.

At both Barnetts Park and the local beach, Craig Morrison has been putting his players through their paces to make sure they hit the ground running when the East Premier League kicks off.

As our pictures show, the United players have been gritting their teeth and getting on with it as they aim to scrap it out at the top end of the division.

Saints had expected to be playing North League football next term after being relegated from the East Premier.

That was until Kelty Hearts, last year’s Super League title winners, left the juniors to join the East of Scotland League set up and sparing them the drop.

Saints committee member Blair Smith says the side is already looking good.

“There’s a definite buzz around the ground as the players are being put through their paces – both in the park and on the beach.

“Morale has been lifted by the prospect of another season in the Premier League, and the chance to right the wrongs of last season.

“Manager Craig Morrison has injected energy, enthusiasm and team spirit, and the players will be at peak fitness come the start of the season on August 5.”

Before then Saints have a number of friendlies, beginning with the Festival of Football and the St Andrews and East Neuk Community (StAENCFC) Football Cup on July 15/16, at Barnetts Park.

This will centre around a four-team tournament, involving United, St Andrews Amateurs, St Monans Swallows and Newport Amateurs – kick-offs at 12pm and 3pm each day.

There will also be children’s football involving the St Andrews Colts – boys and girls – and possibly Pittenweem Youths, before and between the adults’ matches.

An SFA Girls’ Festival of Football will be embedded in the event, and there is an attempt to get Walking Football Club to participate too.

StAENCFC, who are running the Festival of Football, is a non-profit community organisation that aims to promote football and fitness, with participation at all ages, in the local area.

Entry to the festival is free, food and drinks are available to purchase.

Saints gaffer Morrison has been buy moulding his squad ahead of the new campaign.

This week two players departed Barnetts Park while one new face arrived.

Lee Shiavone and Michael Perrie have left St Andrews.

Both players have signed for Hill of Beath.

A Saints spokesman said: “The club would like to thank both players for their services while at the Saints and wish them all the best at their new club.”

Central defender Stewart McDonald has the joined the club from Glenrothes Juniors.