The countdown is nearly over as Stranraer get ready to kick off a new season.
Jamie Hamill’s new-look Blues side welcome Greenock Morton to Stair Park tomorrow (Saturday) for the first time since 2015.
As well as being the first game of the season for Stranraer, it is the first game in the managerial hot seat for Hamill and his backroom staff of Darryl Duffy and Scott Robertson.
The boss said: “I’ve got butterflies, everything, every different emotion going through me.
“The hard work has been done, pre-season is out the way now and we are going into the competitive side of things.
“It is one I have been really looking forward to and we cannot wait to get started.”
Stranraer have a full squad for the contest, including latest signing Curtis Lyle, who has joined on loan from Kilmarnock following Greg Fleming’s departure.
The shotstopper will battle it out with Jamie Walker for the number one shirt and Hamill said: “Curtis comes in and played last week against Queen of the South.
“Greg is someone we are sad to see him go but we are excited to see Curtis now.”
Clyde, Kilmarnock and East Kilbride are also in Stranraer’s group for the Premier Sports Cup before the league campaign gets underway.
Hamill stressed the league was the “bread and butter” but equally there was a desire to begin the season with a bang.
He added: “If we can go and put on our own style of play then hopefully we will not be too far away.”
Tomorrow’s contest will also give Stranraer fans their first chance to see the new home strip in person.
Hamill, along with Robertson and Duffy, had come down to Stranraer and Cairnryan for a special promotional video alongside long-time sponsors Stena Line.
The manager, who also popped in to a training camp in Stranraer, said: “It’s important we can be seen to be doing things like that for everybody in the community.
“It is important to do these things.”
Stranraer 0-2 Greenock Morton
25 April 2015
Just over six years ago, Stranraer and Greenock Morton met on the penultimate day of the season with the Scottish League One title up for grabs.
The Cappielow side had won two of the three encounters in the league that season but Stranraer won the previous contest at Stair Park.
In the end, two goals shortly before the break allowed Jim Duffy’s men to put one hand on the trophy. The first came from the penalty spot through Declan McManus and he wrapped up the contest just before the half time whistle.
Stranraer would beat Brechin City on the last day but lose to Forfar Athletic in the play-offs.
Stranraer: Mitchell, Robertson, Longridge, Rumsby, McKeown, Bell, Winter (Stirling 63), Gallagher (Aitken 32), Gibson, Malcolm (Stoney 68), Longworth.
Not used: Russell, McShane and Tobin.
Greenock Morton: Gaston, Kilday, Russell, O’Ware, Crighton, Lamie, Miller (McKee 62), Forbes, S McCluskey, MacDonald (Caldwell 89), McManus.
Not used: J McCluskey, Scullion, Ferris and Adam.
Last five meetings
- Stranraer 0 Greenock Morton 2 (McManus x2 (Pen x1)) at Stair Park on April 25, 2015
- Greenock Morton 2 Stranraer 0 (McManus and Russell) at Cappielow Park on February 21, 2015
- Stranraer 2 Greenock Morton 0 (Malcolm x2) at Stair Park on December 6, 2014
- Greenock Morton 4 Stranraer 0 (McManus x2 (Pen x1), J McCluskey and Pepper) at Cappielow Park on August 16, 2014
- Stranraer 0 Greenock Morton 8 (Jackson x4 and Di Giacomo x4) at Stair Park on July 23, 2011
Last five games
- LOSS v Dumbarton (A): 1-0
- DRAW v Dumbarton (H): 0-0
- WIN v Edinburgh City (H): 2-1 (Stirling and Orr)
- DRAW v Stirling Albion (A): 2-2 (Own goal and Duffy)
- LOSS v Elgin City (H): 1-4 (Elliott)
- WIN v Airdrieonians (H): 3-0 (Muirhead x2 and Oliver)
- WIN v Airdrieonians (A): 0-1 (Muirhead)
- WIN v Montrose (H): 3-1 (Oliver, Salkeld and McGuffie)
- LOSS v Montrose (A): 2-1 (Oliver)
- DRAW v Arbroath (A): 0-0
Last time out
Lineup v Dumbarton: Fleming, Robertson, Burns, Sonkur, McManus, Gallagher, Stirling (Hilton 65), Millar, Elliott (Duffy 74), Paton (Yates 74), Orr.
Not used: Devitt, Victoria, Josh Walker and Jamie Walker.
Lineup v Airdrieonians: Fox, Ledger, Fjortoft, McLean, Strapp, McGinn, Salkeld (Nesbitt 69), Lyon (Colville 86), Blues, Muirhead, Oliver (McGuffie 81).
Not used: McGinty, Hynes, Orsi and Wylie.
Sadly, only home fans will be allowed for this fixture in line with COVID-19 recommendations and mitigating procedures.
The current social distancing recommendations will also be in place, face masks must be worn and temperature checks will be carried out prior to entry to the ground.
As before, token tickets can be collected from the Fitba Bar from 12 noon on Thursday 8 July up until midday on match day.
The token tickets must be presented at the turnstiles on entry together with the payment of £12 for adults or £6 for a concession.
If you can’t be there in person, we will bring you all the action from Stair Park for Saturday’s cup tie.
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