Cumbernauld United back in action - after just 44-day break

It's been a testing pre-season for Cumbernauld United boss Andy Frame
It's been a testing pre-season for Cumbernauld United boss Andy Frame

Cumbernauld United kick off a new junior football season against Gartcairn on Saturday - just 44 days after the last one finished.

Having so little respite since their League Cup Final against Pollok on June 14 has had a major impact on United’s pre-season build-up.

They were forced to cancel Saturday’s friendly with Banchory St Ternan’s due to player unavailability due to injuries and holidays.

And even a friendly they did play, at Sauchie last Wednesday, saw them finish with nine players after picking up more knocks.

Boss Andy Frame admitted: “The extended season last year, getting to the cup final, has killed us injury-wise.

“We’ve currently got 11 players out injured at the moment, so it hasn’t been ideal.

“There’s nothing too serious, just wee niggles here and there, but we wouldn’t have been able to field a team on Saturday unfortunately, so we had to cancel.

“At Sauchie in the first half we did really well and went in 3-1 at half-time. We played and passed the ball really well.

“Unfortunately we lost one player in the first half to injury and then lost a further three players. We only had two subs so we actually played the last 15-20 minutes with nine men.

“They came back and beat us 5-3 but that was purely down to playing with nine men. JP [McBride]the coach was one of the nine men as well and he’s 40 and ended up playing 90 minutes.

“I wasn’t ideal but it was purely down to the injuries and we were certainly the better team [with 11 men].”

Saturday’s opener at home to Gartcairn in the new-look League Cup will be the start of three games in five days for United.

They face local rivals Kilsyth Rangers at Duncansfield on Monday and then host Glasgow Perthshire at Guy’s Meadow next Wednesday.

Frame said: “I think every club uses it as an extended pre-season with an element of competitiveness, but it is really just about getting ready for the league.

“We didn’t bring in too many new players this year; we felt what we signed for last year was excellent and we were happy with that.

“But the players we have brought in we’re delighted with and it’s really just trying to get them all fit and ready and working on the training ground.

“It will take its toll [three games in five days] but hopefully we can get through that.”