Jun 27 2012 By Gordon Parks
PARTICK THISTLE are to host a glamour pre-season tournament which will see them pitched against Celtic and Everton.
The four-team ARR Craib Cup will also include Airdrie with the games taking place on July 21 and 22.
With Davie Moyes bringing his Premiership big guns up from Merseyside and Celtic using the games
to help prepare for their Champions League qualifiers it is sure to be a weekend to remember at Firhill.
And Jags boss Jackie McNamara insists the matches will also play a vital role in getting his side up to speed for the new campaign.
He said: “Playing against the likes of Celtic and Everton will be a really big test for the players, but it’s one we’re all looking forward to.
“You always want to test yourself against top players and this gives us the chance to do that.
“It’ll be our last pre-season action before the season kicks off for real on July 28 plus it is likely to be our first game at Firhill so hopefully the fans will turn out in their numbers to support us.
“The fact that former Thistle keeper Kenny Arthur is at Airdrie should also be a nice wee pull for the fans.”
McNamara put his squad through their paces for the first time this summer when the team arrived back for training on Monday and the Thistle boss admits the players are being put through the mill.
He said: “The boys have come back looking in good shape. They seem ready to start a new season and kick on.
“There was a good atmosphere this morning with a bit of a buzz, and the boys looked pleased to be back in and are raring to go.
“I think some of the players will feel the effects of the first few days of training.
“That’s only normal and I would be disappointed if they didn’t feel anything.
“The first week is always the hardest and they will be worked hard before we have a big week down at
Catterick Army Base
“There will be more ball work and we will concentrate more on the football side of things.
“We will work on possession, different shapes and systems and also try a few things.
“It was good to try to work off some of the holidays, besides I think it is important that myself and my assistant Simon Donnelly keep ourselves fit as well.
“Simon did a few more runs than I did to be fair.”