No grounds for concern at Jags now

ALAN ARCHIBALD admits he was embarrassed to show potential Partick Thistle stars the Jags' Glasgow-wide training bases last summer.

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Alan Archibald is delighted to have a dedicated training base to work with his Thistle squad. Picture: Nick Ponty
Alan Archibald is delighted to have a dedicated training base to work with his Thistle squad. Picture: Nick Ponty

Now he hopes the Premiership side will be able to attract a higher calibre of player after securing the use of the Garscube Sports Complex.

As revealed in SportTimes last month, Thistle have moved into the state-of-the-art facility after striking a deal with Glasgow University.

Archibald has been putting his squad through their paces this week as he gears up for their second top flight term.

And the Firhill boss is eager to show off their new home to signing targets as he bids to bolster his ranks.

He said: "We had one day here last year, we had a couple of days elsewhere and we had a fixed place for Astroturf, which was Lochinch.

"We were dotted about all over the place and we were at the cricket pitch in Glasgow on some days as well.

"The players had to travel in their training gear and if someone wanted to stay behind and do extra, the driver of the car might want to go.

"When I was at Thistle 15 years ago that is what we were doing. We are delighted to have a base and hopefully it will make a massive difference.

"A lot of young boys come into the game now expecting it and we were playing catch-up.

"You were embarrassed and skipped round the fact that is what you did, you would avoid the question if they asked.

"It could be the difference to someone signing with you."

After agreeing deals with a host of his Firhill stars at the end of the season, Archibald has added just one new face to his squad so far this summer after Ryan Stevenson completed his switch from Hearts.

Striker Lyle Taylor was one of the Jags boss's key targets but, despite being close to a deal, he has opted to join newly-promoted Scunthorpe.

Archibald said: "I am frustrated to have missed out on Lyle. We did all we could to get him in and we thought we had him at one point but, unfortunately for ourselves, Scunthorpe came in late on.

"I hoped it would get easier with us having another year in the Premiership and it has because we enticed Ryan here, which was a big coup.

"But it is very difficult to compete with a team in League One or League Two in England, as we found with Lyle."

It is not just up front where Archibald is eager to strengthen this summer as he builds his squad ahead of the new Premiership campaign.

As revealed in SportTimes this week, former Gateshead defender Carl Magnay has joined the Jags for training while Darren Barr is also being put through his paces after leaving Kilmarnock.

Archibald said: "We lost Aaron Taylor-Sinclair so we need a left-back, a centre-back and centre forward in.

"We have got a couple in training with us. We have got a couple in over the next couple of weeks to have a look at and we are looking at other targets.

"Hopefully we will get them a bit quicker with everyone returning back to work."

Sport

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