Hamilton v Airdrie preview

27th July 2012

IT hasn't felt like a break of over two months but the football season is back tomorrow.

The first round of the Ramsdens Challenge Cup takes place with Jimmy Boyle's Airdrie off to Lanarkshire rivals Hamilton Accies.

The manager is still attempting to finalise his squad following the club's belated promotion to the Irn-Bru First Division.

But one man who will play at New Douglas Park is ex-Partick Thistle keeper Kenny Arthur after signing this summer following stints in England with Rochdale, Accrington Stanley and Grimsby Town.

He said: "I was down there for five years and I think it was the right time to come back up the road and delighted to have my family around me.

"We have a young squad with a scattering of experience but there is bundles of enthusiasm and lots of good ability here.

"Now we have to make a few tweaks here and there and get things moving in the right direction."

Arthur signed expecting to be in SFL2 but he will now prepare for visits to the likes of Falkirk and Dunfermline Athletic after the newco Rangers issue brought a few resolutions.

"I have tried to switch off from it," Arthur added. "In the crazy world of Scottish Football, you can't guess what is going to happen.

"I don't think anyone really thought this would happen to them but it has and we've got to crack on and look forward to the season.

"From my point of view, and the rest of the players in the dressing-room, we were just concentrating on getting ourselves as fit as possible."

Arthur played both games at last weekend's ARR Craib Cup, won by hosts Partick Thistle, and he admitted he was pleased to return to the club where he made almost 300 appearances.

The 33-year-old commented: "It was lovely to go back to Firhill and see some familiar faces but it was disappointing not to win the trophy as that is what we set out to do."

New signings could be made before kick-off but Boyle could opt to field two trialists against Hamilton following a rule change which permitted them to be used in first-round ties only.

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