New Dundee signing McDaid keen to avoid repeat of his pain in Spain

Declan McDaid during day one of Dundee FC pre-season training camp on the Costa Blanca.
Declan McDaid during day one of Dundee FC pre-season training camp on the Costa Blanca.

New signing Declan McDaid introduced himself to the Dundee faithful in the perfect way as he smashed home the opening goal in a friendly win at Brechin City.

And now he’s planning to avoid a painful repeat of his last trip to Murcia.

McDaid and his new team-mates travelled out to the south of Spain for a pre-season training camp on Sunday morning.

This evening the Dark Blues take on Nottingham Forest at the Pinatar Arena on the Mediterranean coast.

McDaid told the Tele: “Being away we’re around each other a lot more and it will help us gel as a team.

“There is a good feel about the place. There are a few new faces so everyone is in the same boat and everyone is getting on brilliantly.

“It’s been great so far and, hopefully, it can improve even more with the games.

“Forest will be a good test, a good English Championship team.

“I don’t know how long they’ve been back but it will be a real test and a good workout.

“Pre-season is all about getting fitness. Obviously you want to play well in games as well but it’s mainly about getting fitness right.”

The trip finishes with a closed-door match against English League One side Scunthorpe.

McDaid added: “Scunthorpe will be a good outfit as well on Friday so both will be good games.

“You see these players on the highlights or the odd Championship game and you know they have top-quality players.

“Forest are, obviously, a massive club and we know it’ll be a tough game but it’s about getting as much work out of it as we can.”

The 23-year-old winger is hoping to build on an impressive first showing in the opening 45 minutes at Brechin

Shortly before the break, the ex-Ayr winger cut inside his man and unleashed an unstoppable strike into the roof of the net.

He said: “My marker gave me a bit of space and I knew what I was going to do and caught it well. Thank God because, just before that, I missed an absolute sitter! I had to make up for it.

“Their keeper was very decent and kept us out a lot so we had to keep going and, obviously, I finally got the goal just before half-time which was good.

“Saturday was the first friendly and it is about fitness, especially with the heat, so it was a great workout but, obviously, you want to win as well and it was good to do that.”

McDaid spent the last two-and-a-half seasons at Ayr, helping them return to the Championship by winning League Two in 2018 before playing a big role in an impressive Honest Men outfit that finished in the play-offs.

Before signing at Somerset Park, he was used to going abroad with Partick Thistle for pre-season trips – and he’s certainly hoping this time around goes better than his last trip to the south of Spain with the Jags.

“I went away to Murcia with Thistle as well but I don’t want to jinx myself – the last time I was out here I pulled my thigh,” he added.

“That was me just being a young, enthusiastic boy, running about mental.

“But the heat, obviously, takes it out of you more and I overdid it.

“Lesson learned this time, though. I won’t be killing myself this time if I’m tight.”

Last year’s trip to the Algarve saw a sizeable group of Dees cheering on their side and McDaid is hoping to see some friendly faces tonight in Spain.

“It would be brilliant if there were some Dundee fans there tonight. We had a great turnout on Saturday and, hopefully, some can make the trip to support the boys if they are on holiday out here or whatever.”