Ross County co-manager Steven Ferguson reckons the Staggies squad will reap the benefits of this week’s training camp in Holland.
County fly out to their Wageningen base today, ahead of their friendly matches against Belgian side Sint-Truiden in Arnhem on Wednesday and FC Utrecht on Friday.
The Staggies trip comes in their first summer following their relegation to the Championship with the Dingwall club kick-starting their pre-season preparations on Saturday with a 3-0 victory against Nairn County in a testimonial match for Gregg Main.
Ferguson, who along with co-manager Stuart Kettlewell has made eight signings this summer, said: “It isn’t common but Stuart and I were given a budget at the start of the season and told we could use it in whatever way we saw fit.
“We felt we could improve the squad in the way we wanted and also include this trip away.
“It is especially important given the turnover of players and the disappointment of last year. We want that clean slate.
“The boys came in 10 days ago and what we do in Holland will propel us into what will be a long, tough season.
“It is just how Stuart and I see it.
“People will have their own opinion on it. There’s no right and no wrong – you could probably get equally as good a pre-season staying in Scotland or going to England.
“We just felt the standard of opposition and that opportunity to get away as a group was important.
“Thankfully, the chairman supported us in being able to do it but it is all within the budget we were given.”
The Dingwall side started brightly against Nairn, with Sean Kelly and Josh Mullin both marginally off target in the early stages.
County made the breakthrough on 34 minutes when Kelly floated in a dangerous corner which picked out Ross Draper to bundle home from close range.
The Dingwall outfit made 10 half-time substitutions, with only Dylan Dykes nominated to play a full 90 minutes in the heat.
Staggies attacker Billy Mckay went close when his 25-yard effort came back off the post, while at the other end Max Ewen saw an effort cleared off the line by the County rearguard.
The Staggies grabbed a second goal after 63 minutes when defender Liam Fontaine met a Keith Watson cross with a towering header.
With 11 minutes left, former Hibernian player Fontaine doubled his tally with another huge leap and angled header into the bottom right-hand corner from a Tony Dingwall free kick.
Main, after 14 months of injury torment, lasted 80 minutes of his testimonial before exiting to applause.
The midfielder said: “It was good to be back on the football field after 14 months out.
“I lasted 80 minutes, so I was pleased with that. It was a really hard shift and although I never felt my knee at all, my groins are tight.
“But that is to be expected in pre-season against players of that quality.”