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NEWS: Dundee set date for return to pre-season training ahead of Betfred Cup clash with Forfar and Championship kick-off against Hearts

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Dundee will return to the training field on Monday, August 31, as James McPake gears his side up for the Championship restart in October.

A number of lower-league sides are hoping to be given the green light to start pre-season training from this Monday.

However, the Dark Blues’ preparations will be an intense five-week schedule before they return to competitive action in the Betfred Cup with Forfar Athletic opponents on October 6.

They then get the Championship under way on October 17 away to recently-relegated Hearts.

Today, the Dark Blues are expected to be part of Zoom calls between the Joint Response Group (JRG) from the Scottish Football Association and the Scottish Professional Football League.

During that virtual meeting with clubs from the Championship, League One and League Two, the JRG plan to dot the i’s and cross the t’s over each club’s plans to return to the training field ahead of the season starting in October.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has already given the go-ahead for contact sports to return from Monday and Dundee’s promotion rivals Hearts are certain to resume training from next week.

The Jambos were incensed by the decision earlier this month by the JRG to halt any training for clubs below the Premiership after well-publicised rule breaches by eight Aberdeen players and Celtic’s Boli Bolingoli.

New boss Robbie Neilson had started pre-season early on August 3 but was been forced to suspend training after 10 days.

The JRG issued a “pause” to training for all teams below the Premiership, which got back under way on August 1, to reinforce rules and check safety measures after the First Minister gave a “yellow card” to Scottish football over the breaches by players of Premiership clubs.

When announcing the next stage of the Government’s routemap out of lockdown, Sturgeon said: “Organised outdoor contact sports will resume for people of all ages, but outdoor coaching sessions will have a cap of 30 on the total number of people who can be coached at any one time.”


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