THE signing of Graham Taylor on Thursday means that Cowdenbeath boss Gary Bollan has secured the 13 of the 14 players from last year's squad he was wanting to secure.

The only one who has left for pastures new is striker Jordan Allan, who has gone to League 1 Forfar Athletic, but the manager is looking to boost his striking department before the big kick-off.

Meanwhile training has resumed with the players enjoying being back in action after being away from the club since mid March.

Manager Bollan is pleased to get attacking the midfielder aboard and in general is happy that so many of the players who did well last term are staying with the Blue cause.

He said: "It has been excellent that so many of them have been happy to stay with us and we are currently speaking with a goalkeeper and hopefully that will develop into a signing.

"As the season approaches we will be looking at fixing up a couple of loan deals and maybe another couple of players to complete the squad at around 20."

The manager is fully aware that the Betfred Cup will give his men a good workout for the coming league season.

"We have had pretty stiff Betfred sections over the past few years and this one is no different with three Championship sides and East Fife, who were up their challenging in League 1 last season but this is the quality of opponents who really test you and that is what we want," added the manager.

"I suppose we could have done without having to go to Inverness on a Tuesday night, but it is the sort of thing that always seems to come out of the fixtures in this competition with a part-time side facing having a 250 mile round trip midweek.

"Heyho we could have done without that but we will just have to get on with it."

Things are anything like the 'old days' for training with the troops having to turn up changed due to the Covid-19 restrictions in place, but the players were delighted to put in three hard sessions on Tuesday, Thursday and on Saturday.

Mr Bollan said: "It certainly is like nothing any of the lads have experienced before but we are in uncharted territory and it will be even stranger when the games start, especially is players can't get a shower after a match.

"The dressing room requirements currently look like nine square metres per player, which is going to be very tight but not being able to get a shower could pose health and safety issues for clubs playing a long way from home in mid winter.

"Hopefully these restrictions might be eased bit later on but it will be awkward."

Meanwhile the manager is looking at trying to get a couple of friendlies organised for towards the end of the month.

"I believe we can play games after September 14 and hopefully we can get a couple played before the Betfred starts," said Mr Bollan.

"The rules say that you have to stay 'local' when organising friendlies but we have a good few East of Scotland League sides in our area an we will look to arrange something with a couple of them. The lads are raring to go."