IAN McCALL will be attempting to rejuvenate his playing squad ahead of the new campaign with the Partick Thistle manager keen to press on with the Maryhill outfit’s transfer activity.

Two veterans in the shape of Richard Foster and Steven Bell did not have their contracts extended at the Championship club at the conclusion of the previous season, Stephen Hendrie has left the club and the future of out-of-contract central midfielder Robbie Crawford is still up in the air.

The quartet were amongst the most experienced players in the squad and McCall is planning on filling out his squad with fresher-faced replacements. Cove Rangers left-back Harry Milne and Falkirk striker Anton Dowds have already agreed pre-contract moves, while Ayr United defender Aaron Muirhead is another to have joined on a free transfer.

The Thistle boss would still like to bring in one or two older heads to balance out the squad but for the most part, he is looking to identify up-and-coming talents rather than players coming towards the end of their careers.

“We are trying to drive the average age of the squad down a bit,” McCall explained. “The two boys that I signed on pre-contracts are 24, 25. Big Aero [Muirhead] is as fit as a fiddle. I think we need two more experienced types and the rest would be a wee bit younger.

“I don’t want to put too much pressure on Milne. He is a good defender: he is quick, he’s really good in the air, he crosses the ball really well and he’s constantly getting up and down the pitch. He can play left wing-back and left-back.

“In the dealings I’ve had with him he has been really respectful. Whether him and Dowds are going to be hungry enough, I think they will be, but you only find that out in the heat of the battle.

“Last season, Dowds scored six at Arbroath in the Championship and then went back to Falkirk and got another seven. He’s a big, big boy. He’s a bit quicker than I thought he was, he’s really quick.

“I just think he maybe didn’t have a great experience at Falkirk. It’s a strange one when he’s playing for a team at the top of the Championship and scoring goals and he’s loaned from a League One team. You don’t need to be a genius to see that’s a wee bit odd.”

Milne’s arrival, in particular, has excited the Thistle fanbase. The 25-year-old was being closely monitored by Premiership clubs so it is perhaps surprising that the left-sided defender opted for a Championship suitor.

The reason, McCall says, is simple: the Thistle boss’ powers of persuasion convinced Milne that Firhill was the best place to continue his development.

He recalled: “We got in two months before some of the bigger boys started sniffing about and he had two offers on the table.

“I just persuaded him. He wants to give it a go. Even if his agent had suspected of Hibs and Aberdeen, maybe they think that’s too big a jump to go from Cove to there and play regularly.

“He’ll play regularly with us and maybe he’ll move on from there. If someone wants to offer money after he’s played 50 games then fair enough. But I was delighted we got him when we did. I thought it was a bit of a coup.”

Partick Thistle season tickets for the upcoming 2022/23 campaign are on sale now - with prices frozen. To purchase your Thistle season ticket visit www.ptfc.co.uk/season-tickets.