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Rebuilt Aberdeen will be ready to make a Premier Sports Cup impact, says boss Jim Goodwin

Aberdeen manager Jim Goodwin hopes to bring in signings soon.
Aberdeen manager Jim Goodwin hopes to bring in signings soon.

Aberdeen boss Jim Goodwin is confident his rebuilt squad will be ready to make an impact in the Premier Sports Cup.

Goodwin will undertake an overhaul of an underperforming squad during the summer transfer window.

He accepts there is limited turnaround to get new signings in and gelling as the Reds return for pre-season training in mid-June.

Aberdeen then kick off their season in the group stages of the Premier Sports Cup on the weekend of July 9/10.

The Dons have been drawn in Group A alongside Raith Rovers, Peterhead, Dumbarton and Stirling Albion.

Full fixture details have yet to be announced, although group ties will be played between July 9 and 24, subject to television selections.

Championship Raith Rovers knocked the Dons out of the tournament last season, under former boss Stephen Glass.

Goodwin said: “We are going to be very busy this summer and we are working tirelessly to get the recruitment right.

“There is always a quick turnaround.

“Managers, players and football clubs are well aware that the summer break is getting shorter and shorter every year.

“It seems to be a few days or a week less than it was the previous year.

“That is just part and parcel of the industry we are in.

“I hope to have the the vast majority of our work done in terms of recruitment by the time we return for pre-season in the middle of June.

“Then we will have plenty of time to prepare and be ready for the Premier Sports Cup.”

Aberdeen manager Jim Goodwin during the 1-0 defeat of Dundee at Pittodrie.

No Europe = League Cup groups

Aberdeen called time on a dismal season with a 0-0 stalemate with St Mirren on May 15.

The Reds will have little more than a month’s summer break before reporting for pre-season training at Cormack Park.

This will be the first time Aberdeen have competed in the group stages of the League Cup since it moved to this format.

Teams who qualify for European action avoid the Premier Sports Cup group stages.

The Dons’ run of eight consecutive seasons of European qualification ended this year following a 10th-placed Premiership finish.

Summer fitness regime for players

Goodwin will ensure his players return for pre-season ready to hit the ground.

The players have been given a fitness routine that they will work on during their summer break.

He said: “The players get a couple of weeks off after the season.

“That is to recover and hopefully get over any little niggles or tiredness that they have.

Aberdeen boss Jim Goodwin is confident players set to leave in the summer will not down tools.

“Then they will be given a programme for that period when they are away on their own.”

Chance for cup revenge over Raith

Aberdeen will face a Raith Rovers side who finished fifth in the Championship last season, just outside the promotion play-off zone.

Raith shocked the Dons with a 2-1 win in the tournament last season in Kirkcaldy.

The Dons went into that game in August sitting joint top of the Premiership, having won the opening two games of the league campaign.

Aberdeen had also progressed to the Europa League play-off stages before facing Raith.

That Raith defeat was the first result of a 10-game winless streak for the Dons that damaged the season – one of two such runs during the campaign.

North derby looming for Aberdeen

Goodwin’s side also face an all-north derby against League One Peterhead.

The Balmoor side finished seventh in League One last season.

They also face League Two Dumbarton and Stirling Albion.

Dumbarton were recently relegated to League Two, having lost the play-off semi-final 5-2 to Edinburgh City.

Aberdeen manager Jim Goodwin watching Vicente Besuijen in action against St Mirren.

Aberdeen faced Dumbarton in the Scottish Cup in March 2021, winning 1-0 away.

It was the first start for teenage right-back Calvin Ramsay, who Liverpool and Leeds United are both targeting for a summer swoop.

Calvin Ramsay in his first Aberdeen start, against Dumbarton, in March 2021.

Stirling Albion, managed by former Aberdeen midfielder Darren Young, finished seventh in League Two.

Goodwin said: “It is a quick turnaround between now and the Premier Sports Cup, but I prefer that as a manger.

“It just goes to show the importance over the coming weeks of the recruitment side of things.”

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