THE new Junior football season is officially underway, and the teams are in no mood to hang around.
Qualification for the Surridge Sectional League Cup is the immediate priority, with the first league fixtures scheduled for August 13.
Despite competitive play having only started last Wednesday, tonight will see both United and Rangers play their third ties in the round-robin section when they face each other at Guy’s Meadow.
Cumbernauld have been buoyed by the return of manager John Queen, who took a sabbatical towards the end of 2010, and have so far recorded a two-all draw against newcomers Rossvale, and narrowly lost 5-4 to Kirkintilloch Rob Roy at the weekend.
Queen said: “It’s mostly about re-building for us at the moment. We’ve lost some really good players and are just trying to build a squad for the season.
“The game against Rossvale wasn’t the greatest, it was pretty scrappy. For me personally we didn’t play the way I like to but we should’ve won it, even though we were two-down at one point.
“Saturday was better. It must’ve been a good game if you were sitting there watching it with all the goals. But I don’t think it was one for the purists.
“For us, it’s about using these games as an extension to pre-season to get things right for when the league starts.”
Over at Duncansfield, Kilsyth are building on the solid foundations laid last season with an impressive start.
They kicked-off with a 2-1 win away at Dunipace, before trouncing fledgling Rossvale 6-1 at Petershill on Saturday.
Assistant coach Martin Mooney said: “The boys have worked really hard, they came back to pre-season all looking fit and ready to go. I think that’s showed.
“We’ve played some really good football and stuck to it, even at Dunipace when we went a goal down the boys never stopped.
“Against Rossvale I think the size of the astro park suited us more than them. Our style of play, moving the ball about a lot, really became a factor.”
As for tonight’s local derby, Queen added: “Kilsyth will give us a real test. They had a great season last year and seem to have carried that over so far.
“But we have to remember we’re still looking for players and use this as an exercise.”
Mooney added: “From our point of view we still need to get games under our belts. But the Cumbernauld game is a derby, so everyone will be right up for it.
“First and foremost this year we’ll be looking for safety so this is a good chance to test ourselves.”
Cumbernauld United are actively looking for experienced players. Anyone interested should contact Hat-Trix on 01236 722883.