Match preview: FC Twente

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IT IS the most talked about pre-season friendly this season with Stranraer taking on foreign opposition for just the second time.

FC Twente follow in the footsteps of GAK Graz in taking on the Blues, with Rene Hake bringing his side to Scotland.

He will not be up against Stevie Farrell though, with the manager on holiday and Chris Aitken set to lead the team.

Aitken said: "I've been looking through social media and everything that has been getting said about the game.

"It's one we're looking forward to and we never thought we would have a friendly like this.

"It's nearly upon us now and we had a chat about it last night with the players.

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"Stevie Farrell, Alan Waddell and Eric Phillips are all on holidays and I am on my lonesome.

"David MacGregor will help me as well and he will help out during the warm up.

"I will be taking the team and speaking to Stevie tonight and he will tell me his team.

"He is out of the country but he still calls the shots."

It is Aitken's second game in charge of the Blues having been in the managerial hotseat for the Scottish Cup clash with Aberdeen earlier this year after Brian Reid's departure and before Farrell took charge.

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The temporary manager, who featured in a number of big games as a player, felt it was an important game for both the players and the club.

He said: "I think it means a lot for Stranraer.

"It means a lot to the town itself and just shows you we are a club with a bit of connections.

"We have got a team like FC Twente coming across and it is well documented.

"I had Charlie Adam (ex-Rangers and Scotland midfielder) text me about it.

"He is going to Switzerland and he had read about this game on social media and was asking how it had come about.

"The word is getting about.

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"I played against Celtic a couple of times but as far as a European side, I was having a wee look through their website last night and they come here with bags and bags of quality.

"Teams like that don't come round very often for guys at our level and it is important to embrace it and enjoy it."

Tomorrow's game will also give fans the chance to see their side one last time before the real stuff kicks off next weekend against St Mirren.

Stranraer have added strikers Stephen Okoh and Danny Stoney this week while Calvin Kemp's time with the club has come to an end.

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Aitken was pleased with how the squad was shaping up and was happy with the new additions.

He said: "I think we know what Danny Stoney is going to bring.

"He was here when the manager was here the first time and he had a bad spell with injuries.

"He came into training off his own back and the manager gave him training facilities.

"We know what we are getting and he could be a big, big impact player.

"He's working with a management team where he knows if he does the business, he'll get a start in the team.

"Stephen was somebody we did not know and he came up and showed up really well and will bring a physical side, which is maybe something we needed up top."

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Stuart Millar, head of recruitment, was the man who identified Okoh, who has joined from Lewes.

The striker has caught the eye of Farrell and Aitken in pre-season and could prove a real secret weapon over the next 12 months.

The arrival of Stoney and Okoh has coincided with the end of Kemp's time at the club.

The forward made 15 appearances for the Blues, including three from the start. Aitken wished him well and hoped he would get fixed up with a new club.

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He said: "Calvin came in and looked really good in pre-season.

"But at this stage in his career he needs to go and play football.

"With the squad being so strong, we did not see that going to happen and we did not want to halt his progress."

FC Twente's visit will be Stranraer's fourth pre-season friendly after victories over Larne and Partick Thistle and a draw with Dumbarton.

It will also be their visitors' fourth friendly having thumped GEC before a draw with Danish side FC Nordsjaelland and a defeat to SV Meppen.

Stranraer's last 5 games
LWWDW

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Partick Thistle (N): 4-2 (Thomson, Agnew x2 and Anderson)
Dumbarton (N): 0-0
Larne (H): 5-0 (Trialist x2, Trialist and Anderson x2)
East Fife (H): 2-1 (Malcolm and Kassarate)
Alloa Athletic (A): 1-0

FC Twente's last five games
LLWDL

SV Meppen (N): 0-3
FC Nordsjaelland (N): 1-1 (George)
GFC (N): 0-8 (George, Boere x2, Vuckic x2, Oosterwijk x2 and Browning)
FC Groningen (H): 3-5 (George, Klich and Unal)
Sparta Rotterdam (A): 1-0

Last time out

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Stranraer lineup v Partick Thistle: Belford, Robertson (Anderson), Neill (Lang), Barron (Dick), McGowan (Trialist), Hamill, Bell, Thomson, Wallace (Agnew), Stoney (Woods), Okoh (Trialist).

FC Twente lineup v SV Meppen: Brondeel, Van der Lely (Ter Avest), Bijen (Roemeratoe), Thesker (Hooiveld), Trajovski (R Jensen), Van der Heyden (Vankan), Holla (Grootenhuis), Vuckic (Browning), Laukart (Trotman), Boere (Oosterwijk), George (Frimann (Schets)).

Admission

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Entry to the game is £15 for adults, £10 for those 65 and over, and free for under 17s.

More info

View a full guide to the FC Twente weekend events.

Coverage

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We'll have live updates throughout the afternoon on Twitter at @StranraerFC.

SPFL 3L1 6474

 Pos  Team  Pld   Pts 
1 Ayr United 2 6
2 Raith Rovers 2 4
3 Arbroath 2 4
4 East Fife 2 3
5 Albion Rovers 2 3
6 Forfar Athletic 2 3
7 STRANRAER 2 3
8 Airdrieonians 2 1
9 Alloa Athletic 2 1
10 Queen's Park 2 0

Fixtures


00 Stranraer FC 2015 Logo
3 Number Lotto
Sunday 13 August 2017

Numbers: 3, 7 and 16

2 winners at £500:

Sid c/o Central Bar, Newton Stewart
Julie, Dunragit