Goodness me, is it really a month since Only Just Offside was updated? It's been a busy and challenging summer in all kinds of ways. Last week I was up in Dumbarton watching the two friendlies against Partick Thistle from Division One and St Mirren from the SPL. We lost by two and three apiece respectively, but there was some entertainment value in the midst, a few trialists were exercised, and Sons gave good account of themselves from time-to-time in the two first halves - in spite of the results.
Two draws against Queen of the South (again, Division One) and Annan Athletic (scene of our triumph only a few weeks ago) followed at the weekend, though both ties in the friendly cup competition in the Borders were lost on penalties. Next up its Middlesbrough on Wednesday at SHS. Well, we should get more time on the ball (if we can nab it), but the newly-relegated English Championship side Boro are still a class outfit, so in reality it should only be a matter of how many they beat us by.
Sadly I can't make the game, but I have been able to help out by producing a souvenir leaflet in lieu of a proper programme, with the agreement and involvement of Sons View editor Graeme Robertson. This will be made available in exchange for a donation to the Gordon Lennon Memorial Fund - which will help his dependents, and which has been going very well. The fans of the Clubs we've played close season, as well as our own, have been superb.
Middlesbrough, too, have been incredibly thoughtful - not least Mike McGearty, editor of the official club website at the Riverside. Football people really cheer you up, sometimes.