COWDENBEATH ‘S players, who are coming to the end of their spell on furlough, are this week speaking to boss Gary Bollan who is keen to hold on to most of them.

The manager will be using his persuasive style to ensure most of them sign on the dotted line for the new season which kicks-off in early October with the Betfred Cup. And he also has his eyes on at least a few newcomers

However, while the manager is working away at assembling his squad the board are working hard at getting Central Park operational before the Betfred Cup starts.

The thunderstorms that hit the area and caused havoc in the local communities, also caused problems for the football club.

Said secretary David Allan: “The water came under the front door of the stadium and has caused a real mess.

“The whole ground floor, which includes the changing rooms, manager’s and kitman’s office, interview room, referee’s room and equipment room, were under several inches of water,

“The dressing rooms were least affected as they have concrete floors, but the others may need new flooring and furniture, plus these will have to be dried out by dehumidifiers for 21 days which takes us up to the eve of the new season.

“It is a diversion we could have done without especially not being able to have the club office operational.”

There has been some encouraging news from the Scottish Government on the possibility of crowds being allowed back in to watch football.

On Thursday First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said that fans would be allowed into matches in the SPL in controlled numbers as a pilot. If it works well and other indicators on the Covid-19 situation stay positive, there could be fans allowed at the Betfred ties and lower league fixtures in October.

Added David: “That certainly is much more positive but of course there is still a lot of water to flow under the bridge between now and the Betfred kick-off.

“It is unlikely that say for the Hearts game it would be the same arrangements as last season, it is likely a cap would be put on the total allowed in but certainly it gives us real hope that by the time we get going fans will be back in some sort of numbers.”

The club has been involved in meetings with the SFA and Fife Council on how to get socially distanced crowds into Central Park so things are starting to take shape.

But for now all things are geared to getting the offices and dressing rooms ready as quickly as possible.

“Certainly it is going to need a lot of work and hopefully the drying out process will be complete early in September,” added the secretary.

“Our aim is to have the ground ready for October 10 when Hearts will be calling and hopefully for that game we will be allowed fans in for it in some numbers.”