Dundee United boss Jackie McNamara to mix it for Arbroath match

Dundee United's Simon Murray.
Dundee United's Simon Murray.

Dundee United will take a mixed squad of first-team players and youngsters to Gayfield for tonight’s Forfarshire Cup match against Arbroath.

The game is the first of the Tangerines’ pre-season programme, which also includes a trip to the Netherlands, where they face Vitesse Arnhem on Friday and Utrecht a week on Thursday.

Also lined up is a game in London against Queens Park Rangers on July 22, while United are still hopeful of welcoming a team to Tannadice for a friendly on the 25th.

Manager McNamara said: “We will be taking a mixed squad to Arbroath but the games in Holland will see us starting to prepare for coming back for the new season.”

Of particular interest tonight will be who plays in goal for United following the departure of Rado Cierzniak, who is set to sign for Wisla Krokow in his native Poland.

McNamara and goalkeeping coach Craig Hincliffe have vowed to equal opportunities to Marc McCallum, who was on loan to the Lichties last season, Polish shot-stopper Michal Szromnik and Luis Zwick, who agreed a new deal at Tannadice just last week.

The cup-tie also kicks off the Angus club’s season and manager Todd Lumsden said: “It is a bit of a different way to begin their preparation for the season as you can only play two trialists and make three substitutions.

“Normally, you have a gentle introduction with up to 20 players involved.

“However, we have to abide by the competition rules.”

Home fans will see new recruits Allan Fleming, Graham Hay, Jamie Reid and Lewis Coult in action, with Lumsden also planning on playing Kane Hester who has joined from local junior side Arbroath Vics.

Summer signings Craig Wilson and Martin Grehan are not yet ready.

It could be a United player who gets the biggest welcome if McNamara includes Simon Murray, who was recruited from Arbroath after an impressive season in maroon,

Lumsden said: “We are not sure what type of side Dundee United will field but if Simon is involved I am sure he will get a warm welcome.

“He was only here for a year but made a great impression and everyone here hopes that he stars at his new club but perhaps not in this game.”