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SPL clubs on tour
SPL clubs on tour

By Andy Campbell

Scottish Premier League clubs have barely finished for the summer, but the new campaign beckons with some clubs facing European and domestic cup matches ahead of the league season.

BBC Sport tracks where and when Scotland's top flight clubs will be readying themselves for season 2009/10.



New Aberdeen manager Mark McGhee will oversee pre-season training when the Dons players return from their summer break on 29 June.

A tour of Austria will follow in July, during which the Pittodrie club will take on German side 1860 Munich at the Hofmaninger-Stadion on 18 July.

Back in Scotland, Aberdeen will play Peterhead at Balmoor Stadium (22 July) and Dundee at Dens Park (25 July) before their Europa League qualifiers begin on 30 July against opposition yet to be confirmed.

McGhee's side will prepare for the SPL kick-off by travelling to take on Hull City on 9 August for Dean Windass' testimonial, the striker having played for both clubs.



Celtic, like Aberdeen, will begin next season with a new manager, with Tony Mowbray confirmed as Gordon Strachan's successor.

A trip Down Under will see Celtic take on Australian side Brisbane Roar on 12 July.

Then it's back to the UK for an exhibition match to mark the opening of Cardiff City's new stadium on 22 July.

Two days later, Celtic will face Egyptian side Al Ahly in the Wembley Cup and Tottenham Hotspur in the same event on 26 July.

Celtic's first Champions League qualifying match will take place on either 28 or 29 July before Sunderland visit Celtic Park on 1 August.


Dundee United

United will take part in the round-robin Oban tournament on 11 July with Oban Saints, Alloa Athletic, Hamilton Under-19s, Hearts Under-19s and St Johnstone Under-19s. This event will take place at Glencruitten Park and Mossfield Stadium.

Friendlies away from home against Dunfermline (14 July) and Stirling Albion (18 July) are also planned for Craig Levein's side.

The Tangerines will then travel to Ireland for matches against Drogheda United on 20 July and UCD the following day.

The Irish tour could extend to a third match on 23 July with opposition yet to be confirmed.

Back in Scotland, Inverness, who were relegated from the SPL last season, will host United on 28 July.

And the Arabs will play their first home game of their centenary season at home to Newcastle United on 2 August.



Falkirk are in the process of appointing a new manager to replace John Hughes and have yet to announce their pre-season plans.

The Bairns, who were beaten finalists in last season's Scottish Cup, will begin their first Europa League qualification campaign on 16 July with a home clash against FC Vaduz, with the return leg taking place in Liechtenstein on 23 July.



Hamilton's pre-season preparations are similar to that of Dundee United, with matches in Ireland planned after participation in the Oban tournament (11 July), where it will be the Accies' Under-19s team that competes.

Billy Reid's men will also feature in the Spartans tournament at Ainslie Park Stadium on 18/19 July, when hosts Spartans will also welcome Raith Rovers and Blyth Spartans.

On 22 July, Accies will travel to take on Darlington ahead of two games in Dublin, playing Drogheda United (26 July) and UCD (27/28 July TBC).

Scottish Junior Cup winners Auchinleck Talbot will host Hamilton at Beechwood Park on 4 August and the New Douglas Park club are hoping to arrange a friendly match at home on 1 and/or 8 August.



Hearts are heading to Germany for their pre-season tour.

First up are Goslar SC08, who play in the regional leagues just below the second tier of the Bundesliga, on 7 July at the Osterfeldstadion.

The following day, Csaba Laszlo's side take on Polish top flight side Slask Wroclaw in Hamburg, while they stay in the city to play Second Division Bundesliga outfit St Pauli at the Millerntor Stadion on 10 July.

The tour ends with a match against Alemania Achen in Basweiler on 12 July.

The Jambos then have a double-header against Premier League visitors from England on their return to the Scottish capital.

Bolton Wanderers are the opponents on 4 August before taking on Sunderland on 8 August.



Dunfermline will provide the opposition for Hibernian's first pre-season friendly at East End Park on 18 July.

New Hibernian manager John Hughes will then take his side to Ireland for two matches, facing Glentoran in Belfast on 25 July and Shamrock Rovers in Dublin three days later.

Preston North End will visit Easter Road on 1 August before Hibs take on two English Premier League sides.

The Leith side travel to Ewood Park to face Blackburn Rovers (5 August) before a clash with Bolton Wanderers at the Reebok Stadium (8 August).



Newly promoted English Premier League side Burnley travel to Rugby Park for a friendly on 6 August and Killie hope to announce more pre-season fixtures in due course.



Motherwell, who are currently without a manager following Mark McGhee's departure, have the earliest start to the season of all the SPL clubs with Europa League qualifiers against Llanelli on 2 and 9 July.

Well's home leg of that tie on 2 July will take place at Airdrie United's Excelsior Stadium while the Fir Park pitch undergoes remedial work and the return leg will be at the Parc y Scarlets.

English Premier League side Wigan will grace the new pitch in a friendly against the Steelmen on 8 August.



SPL champions Rangers will visit Germany for three matches, starting with a clash against Sportfreunde Lotte 1929 on 24 July.

Nurnberg will host Walter Smith's side on 26 July and SC Wiedenbruck (28 July) complete the tour.

The Ibrox club will then travel to London for two matches in the Emirates Cup.

Rangers will play PSG on 1 August and tournament hosts Arsenal the following day.

Manchester City will visit Ibrox on 4/5 August (TBC) and Peterhead are due to host Rangers on 5 August before Smith's side head to play Portsmouth on 8 August.


St Johnstone

Back in the SPL after an absence of seven years, St Johnstone will warm up for the new season with a hectic series of friendlies at the end of July.

Saints will travel to face Ayr United on 20 July before two matches in Northern Ireland, facing Lisburn Distillery (22 July) and Glenavon (24 July).

The Perth side then take on Cowdenbeath away on 28 July before Burnley, managed by former St Johnstone boss Owen Coyle, visit McDiarmid Park on 8 August.

St Johnstone are hoping to arrange another home match to mark the club's 125th anniversary and they will compete in the first round of the Co-operative Insurance Cup against Stenhousemuir at Ochilview on 1 August.


St Mirren

St Mirren hope to organise one or two friendlies during their pre-season training camp in Italy and are due to take part in the annual Renfrewshire Cup at the end of July.

The Buddies' season proper begins with the first round of the Co-operative Insurance Cup, where they will face East Stirlingshire at Ochilview on Sunday 2 August.

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