Forfar player-manager Gary Irvine sees Saturday’s Scottish Cup clash against Arbroath as a real test for his side, and for himself personally.
Fresh from a 3-0 win over Cowdenbeath, and after being crowned League Two manager of the month, Irvine will go into the third round tie full of confidence despite coming up against opponents who are also flying-high two leagues above them.
‘A real challenge’
The 36-year-old said: “I’ve been excited about it since the draw came out.
“It’s a real challenge for the lads, so we’ll go down there with confidence and it’s got that extra bit to it being a derby.”
As a new manager, Irvine not only sees the tie as a challenge for his players, but also for himself coming up against Dick Campbell.
With just 30 games under his belt as boss at Station Park, he will face the vastly experienced Campbell, who is nearing 1,500 matches as a coach and manager.
The former Dundee and St Johnstone right back said: “We know it’s going to be a tough game.
“They’re a team that everybody is talking about this year.
“They have built up a good bit of form and they are going well in the league and it’s a good, experienced manager to test myself against.
“I’m really looking forward to it and the players will be as well.
“You always want to test yourself against opposition in a higher league and that’s exactly what we’ll face on Saturday.”
Forfar could be handed a boost with the return of experienced midfielder Jamie Ness.
He, along with Craig Thomson and Stefan McCluskey, all missed out in the victory over Cowdenbeath, but only Ness stands a chance of game time at Gayfield.
Irvine added: “Stefan and Thommo picked up injuries [against Kelty Hearts]. Nessy was the week previous.
“He’s been back on the training field on Thursday, it was just a bit early for him this weekend.
“He’s probably going to be a wee bit quicker than Stefan and Thommo, but we’ll see how they are.
“We’ll assess the three of them. Hopefully, another three bodies of their quality will strengthen the squad going in to Saturday.”