Motherwell are still a month away from competitive action but preparations for the new campaign are beginning to pick up pace.
When players pack away their beach towels and return to sunny Lanarkshire they will see a new hybrid playing surface approaching the end of its installation. It will be some weeks before they can test the new pitch but the facilities at Dalziel Park and at the Austrian training camp will soon echo to the pounding of boots as fitness levels rise.
The Steelmen will face either Sligo Rovers or Bala Town in the second qualifying round of the Europa Conference League but the opposition for the first game of the new season will not be known until July 14. Possible complications regarding ground sharing with Welsh teams may force an alteration to the initial arrangements that have Motherwell at home on Thursday July 21 and away a week later.
The league season will kick off with a trip to Paisley. Should Motherwell progress in the European tie (surely!) that opener will be moved to Sunday 31 July.
There have been few mentions of Motherwell involvement in transfer news and speculation since the announcement of the signing of Blair Spittal (and the extension for Ricki Lamie) at the end of May. The signing spree and lengths of contracts agreed last summer made it likely that the bulk of the squad would remain on board for 2022/23. A look at the current playing list highlights the need for more options in the forward line.
Kevin Van Veen, Connor Shields, Kaiyne Woolery and Joe Efford are the striking quartet on the books and a couple of additions would be welcome.