Berwick Rangers are back in competitive action this Saturday as they take on Championship cracks Ayr United in the Betfred Cup.
And Berwick assistant manager Kevin Haynes is relishing the prospect of taking on Ian McCall’s side at Shielfield Park.
Following on from there, Berwick will face Stranraer, Falkirk and Livingston in their remaining fixtures on July 20, July 23 and July 27 respectively.
Haynes told the Berwickshire News: “I think playing the group stage so early is good for the players picking up match sharpness and game time before the league campaign starts.
“Winning these games and progressing in the tournament is an extra bonus.
“Ultimately if you can get the team firing in these four games it stands you in good stead for the league starting in three or four weeks.
“Ayr will be a tough nut to crack.
“They were flying last season until the end when they were going for promotion.
“They are a very good side, as all the teams in the group are.
“It’s a tough group which finishes with a Premiership side away from home which is very tough.
“The players should be looking forward to Ayr. We will gauge where we are after that.”
Berwick warmed up for the Betfred Cup with two home friendly victories last week.
They saw off Coldstream 2-0 last Tuesday before defeating Billingham Synthonia 3-0 on Saturday.
Haynes, who was taking the team as Ian Little was on holiday, said: “I was delighted with how we played.
“Especially against Billingham because they were better than Coldstream. We defended really well.”