Dumbarton manager Jim Duffy admits that he is behind schedule in putting his squad together for the upcoming season.

The Sons returned to training last week with sessions on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday with just nine first-team-players present alongside three trialists who the gaffer will cast his eye over in the next couple of weeks.

Dumbarton have been able to add six new signings in the shape of Isaac Layne, Stefan McCluskey, Morgyn Neill, Jordan Pettigrew and Ryan Tierney while Kyle Hutton, Conor Brennan and Stuart Carswell all extended their stay at the club.

READ MORE: Kyle Hutton turns down offers from elsewhere to remain at the Rock

But, with the first pre-season fixture taking place on Tuesday, July 2 and the Betfred Cup campaign kicking off a couple of weeks later Saturday, July 13, Duffy admitted he was hoping to have more players signed up than he currently does. 

Speaking to Reporter Sport, he said: “We’re a wee bit behind in terms of numbers of where we’d like to be.

“Ideally I’d have liked another four or five players in by now to try and bed them in as quickly as you can.

“There’s a variety of reasons that mean it hasn’t be possible - a fair amount of that is to do with finance and other clubs being able to offer better deals.

“It’s not easy to be patient but we have to be.

“It’s getting the balance and structure of the team right that has also been difficult.

“We’ve got a few younger boys this year which is a choice that I’ve made and I’m looking forward to seeing how those boys do.

“There’s always an element of risk there, but I’m confident they’ve got ability and if we give them the right chance and put the right experience around them then we can compete.

“Morgyn Neill and Stefan McCluskey have experience at this level as well as obviously Kyle Hutton and Stuart Carswell, and Isaac Layne has been with Brechin as well.

“Isaac’s got an injury at the moment so he’s not quite ready but I felt he always had something that I liked when I’ve seen him play and felt he was worth the risk.

“Hopefully he’ll be ready for the start of the Betfred campaign, if not then definitely the league campaign the following month.

“With strikers few and far between I felt it was worth the risk bringing him in.

“There’s a good nucleus there but we need a couple more.”

One deal the boss managed to get over the line was that of Carswell who was finally able to put pen to paper on his new deal last week after returning from holiday.

READ MORE: Jim Duffy bolsters squad with two new additions

The Sonstrust Player of the Year from last season was rumoured to have been on the radar of several clubs in Scotland but put those rumours to bed at the first training session last Tuesday.

And Duffy was delighted to get Carsy signed up for the season ahead. 

He added: “Stuart was terrific for us last year. Not just his performance levels, but also his attitude. He gives everything he’s got so if you can get a team with half a dozen of those characters in it then you’ve got a chance.

“His willingness to win and to do his best is always a great asset to have.”

Read all the latest from Reporter Sport