Forfar boss Gary Irvine relishing early competitive start to new season

Gary Irvine of Forfar AthleticGary Irvine of Forfar Athletic
Gary Irvine of Forfar Athletic
Forfar Athletic manager Gary Irvine says he sees only positive aspects from a quick return to competitive football following the close season.

The Loons boss is looking ahead to the stern challenge posed by the Premier Sports Cup, which begins with a midweek visit to promoted Queen’s Park on Tuesday, July 12.

Forfar have been drawn in group H – the only one not to feature a Premier League side – and will also face Hamilton Academical at home on July 16, Stranraer at home on July 19 and a trip to Dundee on July 23.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Irvine said matches like these, against higher division opposition, helped smaller sides progress in the game and were valuable at the start of a season.

“It’s a great test for us again – it always is,” he said. “It’s always tough when it comes as quickly at the start of the season. You are straight into competitive football, which is a good thing. It’s a real bonus but you need to make sure you put things in place and get players ready. We need to be up to pace straight away.

“Dundee we met last year but we have new challenges with Queen’s Park and Hamilton, while Stranraer’s always tough as well. It’s a really tough, competitive group and one I am sure the players will be looking forward to. I am looking forward to it – getting those types of games early on, testing us and getting up to speed.”

Irvine added: “I am not going to say the League Cup group stages are still pre-season and it’s building ourselves up – I look at it as a very good competition. You need to go in with the right mindset, treat it properly and look to advance and, hopefully, we can do that.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"It’s the perfect start for us lower division clubs when we’re talking about playing Dundee, Hamitlon and even Queen’s Park now, getting themselves up to the Championship. It’s a big challenge but that’s how you progress. You get better in football and get ready for another tough and competitive season by playing against good opposition early on. I only see it as positives.”


Players were about to embark on an off-season fitness programme and were due back to begin pre-season training on June 18, while Irvine had been engaged in talks with a number of potential new recruits.

parti-time players have their jobs and things to weigh up alongside football do take a wee bit longer to commit

liely ato announce i th next few days pre-season training June 18 starting back players have a good oare that shas singe up working towasrd an off-seaso programme startingthis week starting to ook after themselves players nowaaydas do lok aftr themselves they hardly take ab reak fro the fitnes stuff

Irvine added that new player arrivals at Station Park and some pre-season friendly matches may be announced next week.