Manager's View - Pre-season Training
20th June 2013
Jimmy Boyle has backed the Airdrieonians crop of kids to shine in the Second Division.
The Diamonds first-team squad return for pre-season training today, but a number of the club's promising youngsters have been working out at New Broomfield during the off-season.
And Boyle thinks their focus on fitness, as well as last season's SFL1 experience, will have them ready to go for the big kick-off next month.
He said: "We have a good basis of young boys and it is about getting the right people and right experience in to help them push on.
"We will be building with these young players.
"The young boys have always stood up and been counted. Whether we've lost or not, they've always given their all. Last season was great for their learning.
"We're starting pre-season training shortly but these boys have been in during the summer working hard. We've had them in a couple of times a week.
"They will have their one or two weeks' holiday when it comes around but will be in with us apart from that.
"I want them to be in the best physical condition for the start of next season."
It was a baptism of fire for many of Airdrie's young players last season who were thrust into the spotlight.
Relegation from SFL1 was confirmed long before the final day of term but Boyle says the kids will be all right.
"I think they are mentally tough enough to come back from what happened last season," he added. "They are a different beast.
"People like Chris O'Neil, Ricki Lamie, Jamie Barclay, Grant Drummond and Liam Watt - it has been tough for them. They have taken some hard knocks.
"But they have kept going. We will speak to them all through the summer about the negatives but also about the positives. We will also turn those negatives into positives.
"We've told them how good they could be and where they could go if they apply themselves."