Fresh from the Club’s pre-season training camp in Budapest, manager Jim McIntyre and summer arrivals Brian Graham and Stewart Murdoch discuss the benefits of a warm-weather training camp, team-bonding and look forward to the pre-season friendly with Dutch top flight opposition, NEC Nijmegen.
Jim McIntyre, Manager:
“The trip to the Globall Sports complex outside Budapest was excellent. It was everything we hoped it would be. The conditions were perfect, 30 degrees plus every day, the players all worked their socks off and the standard of opposition in the friendlies was good too so we were very happy.
“Having seen a big turnover of players in the summer it was good to get away for a week as a group. The players got chance to gel and get to know each other both on and off the pitch so the trip was good from that perspective too.
“Now we are looking forward to Saturday and facing top Dutch opposition at the Global Energy Stadium. It will be a tough game but a great opportunity for the fans to see some of the new signings for the first time.”
Brian Graham, Striker:
“Pre-season has been hard but it’s been a good three and half weeks so far. Everyone is very fit as the training has been high intensity. Everyone is looking sharp and there are no injuries so we are all raring to go for the start of the season at Celtic Park next week.
“Before that we have NEC Nijmegen in Dingwall who will be difficult opposition but all the lads – and especially the new signings – can’t wait to get their first game in front of our home support and hopefully it will be a big crowd on Saturday.”
Stewart Murdoch, Midfielder:
“Hungary was great and it was really good to spend so much time together as a squad. We pretty much spent every waking minute together out there so it was a good experience.
“All the lads get on well and were socialising together too and that’s continued since we’ve come back. Because of that, when we do get round to playing games it will feel like we are playing with our mates, as opposed to just our teammates, which is what has happened at some other clubs I’ve been at. That should stand us in good stead when the season starts.”
Tickets for the friendly with NEC Nijmegen on Saturday July 25 are available at the club now and on the gate on the day, priced £15 (adult), £10 (concession), £5 (children). The game kicks off at 3pm.