Sam Wardrop admits one of the highlights of last season was playing at Tannadice.
Now the former Celtic kid will be playing there every other week, he wants to make sure this season’s opposition don’t feel the same way.
Put out on loan by the Hoops, he was in the Dumbarton line-up that earned a deserved 1-1 draw in September.
There was a less pleasant experience when he was in the Sons side that went down 2-0 at home to the Tangerines, so, understandably, he prefers to recall the away clash.
Now he wants to make sure it’s the home players and not visitors who are feeling good after games there.
“I did play once at Tannadice in a one-each draw and played in one of the home games at Dumbarton,” he confirmed.
“Tannadice was one of the best pitches so you always looked forward to coming there. I like playing on good pitches and this was one of the ones in the league that was excellent. Obviously, now being a Dundee United player, I can play there every second week.
“For us, we’re a footballing team and it’s going to be the perfect pitch and they’ve improved it as well. It’s been relaid so that’s good.”
Yesterday saw Wardrop in action as a United player for the first time, playing 76 minutes at Glebe Park in the 2-0 friendly win against Brechin.
After the best part of two hard weeks of pre-season work, the 20-year-old is keen for more action.
“It’s Brechin first and then I think we have a few more before the Betfred Cup starts. You can only train so much before you want to be playing games. That’s where you get your fitness, so I’m looking forward to getting started.”
After a summer of changes as gaffer Csaba Laszlo reshapes his squad, Wardrop is hoping tonight’s outing will show things are coming together.
He believes it will and is determined good work put in during training will be transferred onto the pitch.
“I’m loving it so far. The majority of the team’s all new so we’re all getting to know each other.
“They are all good lads and I am enjoying working with them and getting to know the manager and how he wants us to play.
“Everyone is getting on really well and, with the boys all having to move up here, that helps the team spirit as well. It’s a nice tightly knit group already.”
Much was made when it was announced the club were insisting players lived within 25 miles of Tannadice.
For Wardrop, though, no such requirement was needed. He was always going to be looking for a base in Dundee.
“I think maybe in the past some of the boys have travelled up but I live in Glasgow so driving four hours a day from there, it makes sense for me to move up.
“You can’t really be at your best if you’re travelling four hours a day, you get stiff and stuff like that.
“I’m going to be moving up to Dundee. The club help you out, they’ve got people to help you find accommodation, so I’ll get some place this summer.”
A Youth Cup-winning skipper during eight years at Celtic, Wardrop decided at the end of the season it was time to move.
And when United’s interest became clear he describes the decision to sign on as a “no brainer”.
“I really enjoyed my time at Celtic. I learned a lot because it’s top, top club in Europe. You get exposed to lots of different experiences playing against European teams and and it was really good.
“There are lots of things I will take away from me from there to Dundee United and for the rest of my career.
“I felt my time was up there. I wanted to be playing first team and got a taste of it last year at Dumbarton. So, if there was no plan for me to play in the first team, it was time for me to go somewhere I could establish myself.”