Ross County co-manager Steven Ferguson expects Belgian top-flight outfit Sint-Truiden VV to provide a stern test for the Staggies in tonight’s friendly match at their training base in Holland.
County have been based at their hotel in Doorwerth, on the outskirts of Arnhem, since Monday, where they play their first friendly of the five-day camp tonight against the team which finished 10th in Belgium’s A League last season (5pm UK-time).
The game will be followed by Friday’s encounter with FC Utrecht, who finished fifth in the Dutch Eredivisie last term.
The Staggies are keen to step up their preparations for the forthcoming Championship campaign, and Ferguson believes the Dingwall men will learn plenty from the experience of facing European opposition.
Ferguson said: “They are a Premiership Belgian side. We were always set to play Utrecht, but we were going to play another Dutch team.
“Sint-Truiden VV, though, heard we were over and contacted us to say they would like a game. Again, we felt it would be another good test for the players and another level up from where we were going to be.
“We relish these challenges and I’m sure the boys will enjoy it as well in a different culture and a different style of play.
“It’s going to be a test – a different type of football. But it is just another challenge and test for the boys to get through as they top-up on fitness and get their timing back in and get their eye back in on the ball.
“There’s no better place to do it than over here.
“Normally, we’d say the weather will take its toll, but it has already been roasting hot since we’ve been back.
“The boys will obviously have to deal with the temperature and deal with good opposition.”
County have made eight new signings over the summer, and Ferguson believes taking the 22-strong squad overseas is a perfect way to integrate the fresh additions.
He added: “With the guys who have come in, Stuart Kettlewell and I can’t speak highly enough regarding the way they’ve gone about things – their attitude and application.
“There is a willingness to gel and get together. That’s something Stuart and I are grateful for but, again, it hasn’t come about by chance. There is a thought process that went into the type of player we were bringing into the club.
“We knew the profile of player we wanted and it is no coincidence we’ve hit the ground running regarding pulling together the group.
“We had done our homework on the players, knew the types we were bringing in and how they would come together in the common cause, which is Ross County football club.”