Dumbarton Academy FP boss Michael Dickie insists his side’s tough pre-season friendlies are exactly what they need in order to hit the ground running once the competitive actions gets underway on August 10.

Dickie will welcome his Accies side back for their first training session of the summer next week on Tuesday, July 9 before their first friendly is set to take place just over a week later on Saturday, 20 July away to Central Scottish Amateur Football League Premier Division outfit Eastfield AFC.

The Accies will follow that up against Ayrshire Premier League champions Hurlford Thistle on Saturday, 27 July before rounding up their summer fixtures on Saturday, 3 August against Ayrshire Amateur Football Association First Division side Glenburn Miners.

Dickie’s side return to competitive action the following week as they line up against Doune Castle in the Douglas Smith league cup on Saturday, 10 August and the gaffer is certain that the trio of tough friendlies will stand his side in good stead.

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Speaking to Reporter Sport, he said: “We’ll return from our summer break next week on Tuesday, July 9 which is a couple of weeks before our friendlies.

“The boys have all had a good amount of time off and will be raring to go.”

Dickie continued: “However, by our standard, we didn’t defend as well last year which resulted in the draws which led to us losing the title.

“Even with us not being at our best, we took it right to the wire against Thorn. It almost went down to the last game. If we play to that standard again then we’re definitely confident we’ll win our title back.”

In order to win that title back, Dickie has revealed he has been hard at work since the end of the season in an attempt to bolster his squad while also confirming that the club have retained the majority of a squad who have lost just four matches in two years.

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The gaffer added: “We’re always trying to get new guys in. I’ve barely been off the phone since the season finished. I had a list of targets as long as my arm so it was difficult to whittle that down and get in touch with everyone.

“Ideally, we want to get the players in early to gel with the boys. We’ve whittled the list down to around half a dozen so I’m pretty confident we’ll be able to get some of those over the line shortly to improve the squad. The feedback from the guys I’ve been in touch with has been positive. We’re confident that the set-up here would impress anyone and push them to join.

“For an amateur team, we’ve done really well to carry a big squad for a few seasons while keeping everyone happy. There has never been anyone completely out of the picture so the guys are all happy here. You can tell it’s a good group of boys with their attitude and consistency over the last few seasons.

“If you want to compete on every front, like we do, then you need to have that depth so it’s a boost to be able to keep the majority of the squad together again.”