Dumbarton Manager Stevie Aitken will welcome his players back to the training pitch this week as preparations begin for life in League One.

It will be five weeks since Sons suffered relegation from the Championship after five seasons in Scotland’s second tier with an immediate return being set out.

But even at the moment with just five players signed up, Aitken isn’t expecting a quiet session.

He said: “We’ve invited a number of players in for pre-season. We normally invite the fitness coach in too but she’s got other ties just now so we won’t be doing that this year.

“We’ll have a good physical couple of weeks before the games start. It’ll be quite intense for them. It’s a quick turnaround but we’ll get them ready as quick as we can.”

One face that will be absent from training is Bobby Barr who last week joined the Sons on a one-year-deal after his release from Raith Rovers.

The winger is still on his honeymoon but will be going through his paces in Mexico as he aims to impress his new employers upon return.

And Aitken it determined to get the most out of Barr. He said: “He’s an exciting player and gets bums off seats. He was always a threat with Morton and Raith Rovers.

“He always tries to entertain and skip by players. In the past couple of years that’s been Andy Stirling’s job and he’s the kind of player we want to attract to the club.

“I’m delighted we managed to get him. On his day he’s as good as you can get at this level. We’ll try and get him back to the level we know he can reach.”

A couple of faces who are expected at training are Stuart Carswell and Calum Gallacher who have verbally agreed to stay the club.

However Chris McLaughlin and Danny Handling look set to be leaving The Rock after a year at the club each.

Aitken said: “Stuart hasn’t signed it yet as he’s away on holiday but he has verbally agreed and is happy to stay. When he comes back then we’ll get it sorted.

“He’s had other offers but players seem to enjoy it here. Players like him will be key for us going forward.

“Calum has agreed also. He’s a great kid and played a number of positions for us but when he was playing as a striker he got his goals.

“We’re back in next Saturday and Monday so, hopefully, the deals will be finalised then. I tend to take the players word for it when they say so but until the paperwork is signed you don’t want to announce it.

“Chris McLaughlin is going full-time so that was out of our hands. It’s unfortunate the injuries he picked up last season and I still don’t think he’s fully recovered from that but we wish him all the best going forward.

“Danny has had a lot of injury issues and obviously through relegation the budget has been cut. He has an offer but we’re quite a distance apart. We’ll sort it out next week but it’s not looking like that one will go through.”