THINGS start in earnest this weekend for Cowdenbeath and remarkably the team faces three games in six days.

Cowden open their Betfred Cup programme against East Fife, at Central Park on Saturday, and then on Tuesday are at home to Premiership Heart of Midlothian.

And on Friday week, July 12, they visit Dundee United at Tannadice, as Dundee are at home on the Saturday. The club completes the sectional games with a trip to Stenhousemuir on Saturday July 27.

Indeed, it is a very stern test of the Blue Brazil but as manager Gary Bollan has observed before, for the League 1 and 2 teams, the Betfred is a really good build-up for the rigours of the league programme.

Cowdenbeath will have two of their new signings in the squad in the shape of Michael Herd and Euan Valentine.

They are Michael Herd and Euan Valentine. Michael, 30, is a very experienced midfielder or defender who latterly was captain of Spartans. He has been with the Ainslie Park club for the past five years after joining them from East Stirlingshire. Prior to that he had come through the ranks at Lothian Thistle, Whitehill Welfare and Arniston Rangers.

Left back Euan Valentine (18) joins up from Raith Rovers.

A product of Hutchison Vale who subsequently came through the Academy system to play in the first team at Stark’s Park he is a tenacious full back who also likes to get forward.

Michael is pictured with striker Jordyn Sheerin who welcomed him aboard to Central before a training session last week.

The manager is looking for his team to make a positive start to the Betfred this Saturday when their Fife rivals from Methil are the visitors.

East Fife had a good season in 2018-2019 finishing in the middle of the table in Darren Young's first season at the helm and almost making the promotion play-offs.

Said Mr Bollan: "We have four very difficult games, including a derby and games against a Premiership side and a team that will be fancied to be among the front runners for the Championship title so the matches will certainly sharpen the lads up.

"East Fife will be a team who will b hoping to be knocking on the door again in League 1 but we are at home and our aim is to make Central Prk a very difficult place for teams to come to.

"It is a match we can win and it would be good to get the Betfred campaign off to successful start.

"A few days later we have Hearts, again at home, and it will be a match that will ask different questions of the team."

Fans should remember that in the Betfred Cup, if matches are drawn a penalty shoot-out will decide who gets a bonus second point from the tie.

The admission prices for Cowdenbeath's Betfred Cup Group A games v East Fife and Hearts are Adults £12, Concessions £6 (16 and under, 65 and over, full-time students, disabled – suitable ID may be requested).

The Hearts game will be segregated but not ticketed - fans will pay at the gate. Cowdenbeath fans will be housed in the New Stand. Visiting supporters have been allocated the South Terracing (entering from High Street end) & the Old Stand (entering from the Chapel Street end).