WHILE Carnoustie Panmure players have been enjoying something of a holiday since their last game on May 21, there has been no such luxury for the lads of the Gowfers’ working committee.
Over the last few weeks, both goalmouths and a large area of the centre-circle have been re-turfed with the help of Bill Paley, who runs a garden landscaping business in the town.
The Gowfers’ Gamble sales hut has been re-positioned and painted and, of course, the pitch and bankings have had to be cut on a regular basis.
Manager Ian Gilzean (pictured) said: “The committee have been quite busy lately. They do a great job in the off-season and during the season itself, a lot of it behind the scenes. However, it doesn’t go unnoticed by people.”
The players’ break came to an end yesterday (Thursday) with the start of pre-season training, which will continue three times a week until the first friendly on Saturday, July 16, away to Highland League outfit Cove Rangers at Allan Park with a 3 p.m. kick-off.
Ian said: “I’m going to break them in gently on Thursday, but on Saturday we’ll be stepping it up another gear.
“I think I’ll take them up to Monikie for two or three hours on Saturday morning. There are a lot of good wide open spaces for them to run about it in. Well, not that they’ll think that’s good!
“It’s only been five weeks since our last game, so I don’t see fitness being a big problem.”
He added that the Cove game will be the Litmus test for the team’s fitness: “Our first game is in a little over two weeks, and Cove Rangers are a little bit in front of us pre-season wise.
“It will give us a good level to see how fit they are, as it needs a different level of fitness in a game than it does during training.”
Meanwhile, Ian has added two players to his pool with the signing of local lads Stuart Ferguson and Danny Millar.
Left-back Stuart has joined up from Tayport, while midfielder Danny has been with Forfar West End for the last couple of seasons.
“We’ve been trying to get them for a little while now, and they will add some quality and experience to the team.”
Ian commented that with the addition of these flexible and talented players, there would be much needed competition for playing time in these positions.
Looking forward to their first game of the new season Ian said: “It’s the League games that you look forward to.
“We’re stepping up a whole league here, and Bathgate are an established side with a good reputation in this league.
“They’ll give us a good test, but this is a test we are well capable of being able to handle.”
Ian has also organised a pre-season fixture against neighbours Carnoustie YMCA on the evening of July 18.
At the recent East Region annual general meeting, it was decided to re-draw the various D.J. Laing League Cup sections and this took place in Lochee United’s Thomson Park clubrooms on Saturday afternoon.
Carnoustie have been drawn in section one along with Brechin Vics, Coupar Angus, Forfar West End and Kirrie Thistle.
Fixtures will be as follows: Wednesday, August 3, Forfar West End, home, 7 p.m. kick-off; Saturday, August 6, Brechin Vics, away; Saturday, August 13, Coupar Angus, away; Saturday, August 20, Kirrie Thistle, home. Kick-offs 2.30 p.m. unless otherwise stated.
In their opening East Region Super League match, the Gowfers are at home to Bathgate Thistle on Saturday, August 27, and this will be followed by an away fixture against Bonnyrigg Rose on Saturday, September 3. Both games will start at 2.30 p.m.