NEW-look Hawick Royal Albert are set to warm up for the forthcoming season on Sunday with a friendly against First Division Falkirk.
Several fresh faces, including Hawick Legion’s Bryan Tait, Andrew Maltman, Roddy McConnell and Peter Gellaitry, as well as Hawick Waverley’s Kevin McGaughey, are expected to be in the Albert line-up to face Steven Pressley’s side.
Royalists boss Mick Murphy told the Hawick News: “It’s a big game for our guys as it’s not often Hawick boys get the chance to play against a major side like Falkirk.
“Everybody is looking forward to the game and hopefully we’ll get a big crowd.
“We’ll have a few new faces in our side from last season. Training has been going very well, the players have been working hard and there’s a good buzz about the squad.”
Murphy revealed he is also looking forward to showing off the new Albert Park pitch.
“Things are going well behind the scenes,” he said. “The committee is a lot stronger and they’re working hard to get things right.
“Hawick groundsman Davie Cranston has re-seeded our pitch for us and Albert Park is looking the best it has for years.
“In fact, the pitch is superb. The players are really keen to play on it and will get the chance on Sunday.”
Falkirk have enjoyed a mixed bag of results from their pre-season so far with a win over Alloa, a draw against Inverurie Locos and defeat to Peterhead.
And on Wednesday night they lost 2-0 to Championship side Leeds United.
They entertain English League One outfit Preston North End tomorrow but are still expected to send a squad of experienced and youth players down to Hawick the following day.
And Murphy is preparing for a tough encounter although he is eagerly anticipating the clash as he prepares his side for the forthcoming East of Scotland First Division season.
He added: “Falkirk will be a big test for us, it’ll be a great experience though and I’m sure all the players will enjoy it.”
Sunday’s game will be the second time the Bairns have played against Hawick Royal Albert, having previously squared up to them away back in the 1950s in front of a bumper crown at Wilton Lodge Park.
There will be no charge for children or pensioners on Sunday. Admission, otherwise, is £4.
The match kicks off at 2.30pm.