Arbroath will welcome ‘captain marvel’ Tam O’Brien back for their Championship opener Inverness Caledonian Thistle on Saturday.
O’Brien played just 25 minutes of Red Lichties successful Premier Sports League Cup group stage after he was crocked in the 2-0 home win over East Fife.
It was feared the foot injury he sustained in that game would keep him out for several weeks.
But O’Brien will be back against Caley in place of suspended Liam Henderson.
And as Arbroath prepare to welcome Caley to Gayfield, they have been handed a further boost with bumper season ticket sales.
With season tickets still on sale, Red Lichties are close to the 800 mark.
That has seen them overtake their previous best of just over 700 when they clinched the League One title in 2019.
Campbell salutes return of Tam O’Brien as season ticket sales peak
“There’s a real buzz about the club again,” said manager Dick Campbell. “The fans are back and they are backing us in big numbers again.
“They played a massive part in the win over Kelty that got us into the last 16 of the cup. We’ve now sold more season tickets than at any point in our history.
“The fans can’t wait for the league campaign to start and neither can I.
“We’ll also have Tam O’Brien back in for Henderson and that’s a big boost to us.
“He’s my captain marvel, a quality player who has been excellent for this club over the last three years.
“I’d never want to sell Tam but I know that he could pull on the shirt for any team in this league.
“He’s got a very good job and is very happy at Arbroath. It would take an exceptional amount of money to ever take him away from here.
“But he’s not the only one. Henderson has settled in very well.
“I was delighted to get him here and I think he’s already showing that he’s right up there with what we’ve got at the club.
“Harrison Clark is learning all the time too. He is only 18 but is a real ball winner, just like a young Miko Virtanen.”
Arbroath ready to face cup double winners St Johnstone
Meanwhile, Campbell insists Arbroath are ready to tackle St Johnstone in the Premier Sports League Cup knock-out stage.
Arbroath lost 4-1 to Saints in a pre-season friendly last week but Campbell is confident it will be closer when they meet on August 14th.
“I think Callum Davidson would say himself it was never a 4-1 game,” said Campbell. “He knows we’ll be looking to give them a game when they come here in the cup.
“There’s a lot to look forward to this year and I’m just delighted the fans will be here to share it with us.”