Source: The Evening Telegraph
Preparation is key for Dundee boss Paul Hartley.
Rewind to last summer and no stone went unturned in a bid to ensure this seasonâ€™s return to the top flight was a success. And Paul insists things will be no different this time around as the club look to build on what he sees as a positive start to life at Premiership level.
The manager admits discussions are already taking place to put in place his clubâ€™s plans for the close season, despite there being 10 games remaining of their current campaign.
â€œNothing has been firmed-up yet but we are still working away at next season,â€ said Paul. â€œAs we speak, we are looking at preparation for the campaign â€” where we are going, what games we are going to get, things like that. There are plenty of possibilities for us.â€
The Dark Blues are right in the mix to finish in the top six but they have already pencilled in an end-of-season game with Crystal Palace, to honour former Dark Blues keeper Julian Speroniâ€™s 10 years at Selhurst Park. That game looks to be just the start of what will be a busy summer for the club.
A pre-season training camp is again in the offing. At least one match against high-profile opposition at Dens Park as well a host of other friendlies, close to home and some potentially much further afield, are also being lined up. Hungary is again a possibility, with Paul pinpointing the week-long camp on the outskirts of Budapest as one of the catalysts to a top-six charge.
But there are also a number of other trips under serious consideration. The gaffer added: â€œWe aim to go away again. We are speaking to some people just now about camps and games. Hungary is probably our No 1 choice again but we have other options. We could find ourselves going somewhere else with a few games, so we donâ€™t know yet.â€
On the effect it had on his ranks ahead of this season, he said: â€œI think it had a positive impact. A camp where we got the players together and showed them how we work was essential. Getting them gelled as quickly was key for the season looking ahead. That will be no different this summer.
â€œIt was the perfect camp for us, probably the best I have been to. The players hit the ground running. Hopefully, we get the same again but without the big turnaround in players.â€
The Tele understands the Dark Blues hierarchy are in talks with an as-yet-unnamed English Premier League side, with a view to tying them down to a Dens date in late July, early August. The visit of English champions Manchester City was deemed a huge success, with the club looking to replicate that this year. But things will not end there. Dundee fans can almost certainly look forward to a few more trips down south.
Games in England, similar to those at Sheffield United and Morecambe in 2014, will also be firmed-up in the coming months. Meanwhile, Dundeeâ€™s match with Aberdeen has been switched to Saturday, kick-off 12.15pm.
Dons international call-ups at senior and U/21 level has seen it changed from Monday evening at short notice.
The match will be shown live on BT Sport.