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Pre-season pains and pleasures

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Chris Jardine | 10:59 UK time, Wednesday, 24 June 2009

May I first of all apologise for the lack of a column last week.

I was away from home and was relying on my trusty laptop but unfortunately technical difficulties proved too much and I couldn't send my work in.

I must admit to having quite an amazing time since I last spoke to you.

Pre-season training has begun, I've been to thegreatest gig of my life, and I've spent aprecious few days with my partner Laura in the Granite City.

The day that all footballers dread happened on Monday 15 June, but I was actually pleasantly surprised as to how I felt on the first night.

I didn't think I had done enough work on my own during the close season and was a bit worried about letting myself down, but to be fair to the manager he broke us in fairly gently.

The first session consisted of a twelve-minute run for starters followed by some ball work and small-sided games.

To finish off, we had three sharper four-minute runs with some core work in between.

Even though I've had more difficult first nights I was delighted when we were done.

The boys got a bit of a surprise with the return of Steven Archibald. Both he and Gary Brown are joined at the hip and I swear I hadn't seen either of them for 6 months.

It was getting to the stage last season where we thought about putting "wanted" posters up because we were worried about their whereabouts.

"Archie" has a couple of chocolate ankles, and Gary has a hamstring injury that has kept him out since December.

Seriously, what can his hamstrings possibly be made of? Out since December?!

Anyway, Gary still hasn't appeared so the posters are back in production.

So with the dreaded first night over we just had Thursday to worry about - well at least the rest of the boys did.

I was off to Edinburgh to see Oasis at Murrayfield on Wednesday, and then off to Aberdeen on Friday, meaning I would miss the next two sessions.

The gig was simply out of this world and even a minority of idiots out to cause trouble couldn't spoil the night.

After a day out in South Queensferry on the Thursday I was off to see Laura for a couple of days in Aberdeen which made it a perfect end to a great week.

Unfortunately we hadn't seen each other in 6 weeks and I hope that never happens again.

It's been pretty quiet on the football front since I've been away and there's not much happening in terms of transfers although the good old gossip columns keep me going.

A couple of you obviously touched on the Ronaldo deal a couple of weeks ago and for £80 million I think Manchester United are 100% correct to bite Real's hands off.Cristiano Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez

The one I am surprised about is Carlos Tevez, and I'm sure United fans will be bitterly disappointed they haven't held onto him.

Would I be correct in saying that they would much rather he ended up with City instead of Liverpool or Chelsea?

Personally, I think Tevez would be a magnificent signing for City alongside Santa Cruz and Gareth Barry, and if they get him I wouldn't be surprised to see them make significant improvements on last year's finish.

There hasn't been too much activity at Annan as yet, with the only signing being David Cox.

Annan fans might remember "Coxy" was the Montrose man sent off along with two of our lads towards the end of last season, so it could be an interesting dressing room this year.

It's also looking likely that Lewis Sloan will be returning to the club from Dalbeattie Star.

Lewis has been training with us, has agreed terms on his contract, and it's only the paperwork that needs to be finalised.

Both players have looked impressive in training and will be good additions to the squad.

Hopefully there will be a few more to come.

See you next week.

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