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What can Arbroath expect from Group E opponents in Premier Sports Cup?

Arbroath's 2022/23 season begins in the group stages of the Premier Sports Cup.
Arbroath's 2022/23 season begins in the group stages of the Premier Sports Cup.

Just eight weeks after their last competitive match, Arbroath return to action this weekend in the Premier Sports Cup.

The Lichties missed out on a dream promotion to the Premiership not once but twice last season, with heartbreaking defeats to Kilmarnock and then Inverness in the play-offs.

Dick Campbell’s men will look to do it all again but first they will have to contend with the League Cup before turning attention back to the Championship.

Dick Campbell
Dick Campbell

The Arbroath management team have not been shy in making their feelings known about the competition kicking off so early in to the summer.

The Gayfield side will use the group stages of the cup as an extension of their pre-season preparations.

Courier Sport takes a look at what is in store for Arbroath in Group E.

St Mirren (a) – July 9

Arbroath could not have asked for a tougher start to their Premier Sports Cup campaign.

In his first close season as St Mirren boss, Stephen Robinson has made a raft of changes to his squad bringing in seven new faces, including Scotland international Declan Gallagher.

St Mirren boss Stephen Robinson.
St Mirren boss Stephen Robinson.

The Northern Irishman will be looking to kick start the campaign after an underwhelming end to the previous season.

The Buddies looked lost following the departure of Jim Goodwin in February, losing eight games on the bounce.

But a rejuvenated squad will look to put the ghosts of last season behind them with some confidence-boosting wins in the League Cup.

Last meeting: St Mirren 1-0 Arbroath, April 2003

Overall record: W6 D9 L16

Cowdenbeath (h) – July 13

After a disastrous League Two campaign, Cowdenbeath now find themselves in the Lowland League, losing out to Bonnyrigg Rose in the League Two play-offs.

Former Rangers defender Maurice Ross has overseen a close-season revolution, bringing in 12 new players as the Blue Brazil seek to bounce back from relegation heartbreak.

Maurice Ross
Maurice Ross

With the new arrivals, a number of players have departed, including now-Arbroath keeper Cammy Gill.

The Dundee-born coach has put his stamp on the Fife side as they look to regain their SPFL status at the first time of asking.

Last meeting: Cowdenbeath 1-2 Arbroath, April 2017.

Overall record: W50 D37 L56

FC Edinburgh (a) – July 16

Despite gaining promotion to League One, the newly-named FC Edinburgh have been hit with controversy off the field.

The side changed their name over potential legal issues over the ownership of the Edinburgh City name, sparking outrage amongst some fans.

In addition to that, the redevelopment of side’s Meadowbank home has been delayed, with a capacity of 499 being allowed in for the Lichties clash.

FC Edinburgh won the League One play-offs last season.
FC Edinburgh won the League One play-offs last season.

So far, boss Alan Mayberry has added just four new players to his play-off winning squad.

There will be a familiar face in the Citizens’ squad with former Lichtie Michael Travis playing a key part at centre-back.

Last meeting: Arbroath 1-4 Edinburgh City, October 2018.

Overall record: W9 D1 L4

Airdrieonians (h) – July 20

It has been a summer of change for Airdie following the departure of boss Ian Murray to Raith Rovers, with No.2 Scott Agnew and star man Dylan Easton following suit.

Dick Campbell, the oldest boss in Scottish football, will face off against one of the youngest in 29-year-old Rhys McCabe.

New Airdrie boss Rhys McCabe.
New Airdrie boss Rhys McCabe.

The fresh-faced Diamonds boss has added five new names to his squad as he embarks on his career as a manager.

Airdrie just missed out on Championship promotion last season but still pose a threat with quality players such as Adam Frizzell and new recruit Cammy Ballantyne from Montrose.

Last meeting: Airdrie 3-0 Arbroath, April 2019.

Overall record: W8 D5 L8

Arbroath title loss at Kilmarnock still hurts and will do for a while admits Chris Hamilton

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