Jun 29 2011 By Gordon Parks
JACKIE McNAMARA will call rank this week and order his rookie Partick players to prepare for battle this season.
The new Thistle gaffer led his troops south yesterday for a boot camp at Catterick army barracks boosted by the arrival of in-demand youngster Aaron Sinclair.
The Glaswegian can reveal a compensation fee has been agreed with Montrose for the left-sided defender who looks set to become McNamara's second signing of the summer.
As preparations for another First Division season get into full swing, the former Celtic player wants his boys to become men in the coming weeks.
McNamara said: "We have a young group and that has been complemented with a few senior players so its great for the younger ones to come away with us.
"Many of them have now served their apprenticeship and enjoyed a taste of the first team at the end of the season but they are first-team players now.
"It's a good thing for them to come down to England with us and feel part of things and know they are now very much in the first team squad.
"They need to believe they will have a big part to play as they certainly will have this term.
"We have a couple of trialists coming to England with us. We have Aaron Sinclair, who was with Montrose, and we have spoken to them and agreed a compensation fee.
"He's a young kid who I have heard a lot of good things about so I'll get the chance to run my eye over him.
"We also have Kieran Brennan, who is a young player who was released by Celtic and was part of their under-19 Scottish Cup winning team he certainly caught my eye in the final.
"We also have a boy called Jack Boyle who was on Southamptons books and hell be travelling with us so he's another we'll have a look at.
"This is the start and Im delighted the players came back this week in great shape. Its a case of so far so good.
"It's absolutely crucial to make the most of this type of trip as it's a huge thing to get the morale and team spirit as high as possible."
The Jags boss admits some military intervention and cash restraints at the Maryhill club ensured the chance to head to Catterick for the next few days was one not to be missed.
He said: "This is a great opportunity for us to get away for a few days.
"Obviously with the lack of finances, we don't have the funds to go away somewhere exotic and stay in hotels.
"We have a connection with the army barracks through a couple of Thistle fans and the Scots Guards who came to visit our ground last season. They made the offer for us to come down and do some of our pre-season there and for us it was a no-brainer.
"The facilities are fantastic and myself and assistant Simon Donnelly have been down for training before so it's perfect for us.
"It's exactly what we need. We will rely on the sports science and the boys will reap the benefits from that.
"We are going to get fit to become footballers, not to be uphill runners. We'll get down to the hard work and get the running out of the way so we can focus on the football."
Thistle's pre-season build-up will continue with a friendly against Blythe Spartans this weekend.