Dumbarton boss Jim Duffy has revealed that there was never any doubt in his mind about signing a new contract at the club.

The former Morton manager penned a new deal two weeks ago and has begun preparations in putting his squad together for the 2020/21 campaign.

Duffy, 61, told the Reporter that he was always keen to stay at the Sons and is delighted that the club was in a position to offer him a budget for the coming season after a turbulent few months due to the Covid pandemic.

He said: “There wasn’t really anything that was concerning me about signing the new deal.

“We had agreed a while back that I would be looking to continue for this season, but obviously that got put on hold like everything else.

“There were no issues. It was just a case of making sure that the club was viable and in a place to look forward – not me personally, but the actual club, because it was important to make sure that Dumbarton was there for next season.

“It’s no exaggeration to say that there was a real concern about what might happen.

“But with the help of the supporters, and the board working hard, we’ve managed to get a budget together to try and get some players to come on board, and that’s ultimately a manager’s job.”

The Sons boss has managed to secure the signatures of five of last season’s squad – Ryan McGeever, Morgyn Neill, Ruaridh Langan, Stefan McCluskey and young player of the year Rico Quitongo – as well the addition of a new forward in the shape of 25-year-old Denny Johnstone, who has moved to the C&G Systems Stadium after leaving Falkirk in the summer.

Johnstone is a player familiar to Duffy, who worked with the big striker at Morton, where he scored 17 goals in 43 appearances during the 2015/16 campaign.

The attacking line is an area that Duffy has had to add to after revealing exclusively to the Reporter that top scorer Isaac Layne has turned down a contract offer to stay at the club.

He said: “Denny is a terrific player, technically very good, and if we can get anywhere near the level that he’s capable of playing, then I think he’ll be a top class signing.

“His career has been put on hold because of injuries the last couple of years – we understand that, and have taken it into consideration, so we just hope he can be injury-free.

“And if he is, then there’s no doubt he can be a real good player for us.

“Isaac has decided not to sign so with him moving on it’s important to get someone in that area again.”