GREAT WORK GANG!
THAT'S ALL FOLKS!
Thanks very much for your company today - hope you have enjoyed our coverage. That has really whetted the appetite for a great season in Scotland and there will be plenty of coverage on Sky Sports - including Aberdeen-Rangers live on Sunday, followed by Hearts-Celtic next Saturday. Cracking games to start with!
Have a good Friday evening and a great weekend!
COULDN'T AGREE MORE!
WE'VE REACHED THE FINAL STOP!
It has been a busy old day but we have covered all the Scottish Premiership clubs - finishing off with Rangers. Mission accomplished, well done everyone!
RANGERS 'CAN'T WAIT' FOR NEW SEASON
We just spoke to Rangers assistant manager Gary McAllister and he says the camp can't wait for the new Premiership season to get underway.
"I am an ex player," said McAllister. "And so the thing is, coming to the first domestic game, there is always that anticipation, there is excitement, the fans are ready for it.
"I can tell you that Steven (Gerrard, Rangers manager) is looking forward to it and all the coaching staff that he has brought here - we can't wait for the League to get started."
In case you missed it earlier - here is all the news from the Hibernian camp after they reached the third qualifying round of the Europa League last night.
ONE STOP LEFT ...
There is just one club left for us to hear from - and that is Rangers, the other participants in Sunday's live game.
We have been speaking with assistant boss Gary McAllister so keep it right here!
Don't forget to check out SPFL Matters this evening - starts in 15 minutes!
GERRARD PLAYS DOWN TITLE TALK
Ahead of Sunday's trip to Aberdeen, Rangers manager Steven Gerrard says he does not want to put pressure on his side by describing them as title contenders.
Full story right here.
DEREK McINNES PART TWO
Here is the rest of Mark Benstead's interview with the Aberdeen manager.
DONS READY FOR OPENER
What a game we have to look forward to this Sunday! It's Aberdeen v Rangers at Pittodrie, live on Sky Sports Football - so it is high time we checked in with the Dons!
HIBS SIGN MACLAREN
Hibernian have re-signed striker Jamie Maclaren on a season-long loan deal from SV Darmstadt 98.
Australian international said: “A few factors drove me to come back. With the success that we had last
season, it just breeds confidence throughout the squad and, for me, scoring
goals was important.
having the World Cup experience I want to kick on. This is the best club for me
to be at, to kick on."
WHAT A WEEKEND!
Here is how it shapes up over the weekend as another Scottish Premiership season gets underway!
ICYMI: RANGERS 1-1 OSIJEK
MCINNES ON RANGERS: WHAT A FIXTURE
Abderdeen kick-off their Scottish Premiership campaign against Rangers at Pittodrie on Sunday, live on Sky Sports.
"What a fixture for us all to be excited by," McInnes told Sky Sports News.
"We're really looking forward to it. The perfect antidote for us, the disappointment last night, going out on extra-time to Burnley.
"But, it's perfect game for us and for the supporters as well - it's a game that's always important. We'll try and get off to a wining start as tough as that is going to be."
NO PRESSURE, STEVIE
ABERDEEN UP NEXT!
KIPRE LEAVES MOTHERWELL TO JOIN WIGAN
'FINAL STAGES FOR KIPRE DEAL'
"We are in the very final stages of concluding a deal for Cedric to go down to the Championship. That is a fantastic indication for how the model is working [at the club]."
Kipre has already posted a farewell message on Twitter...
Motherwell reached two cup finals last season, making five
visits to Hampden Park, and the club’s chief executive Alan Burrows is optimistic of another
“We have managed to keep the core of the squad together.
Last year we brought in 17 or 18 players. This year it has been five or six so
we have hopefully added quality to it.
“Hopefully we can get to Hampden and do one better.”
Alan Burrows, who has recently been elected to the SPFL
board, believes the club might be fighting for just the one top-six spot in the
“I think it would be naïve for anybody in Scottish football
to not look at the big five and see how they have got their act together over
the last couple of years and are now back in a position of dominance – the traditional
“There is a lot of competition among the clubs. One of the
beauties of Scottish football is that on their day anyone can beat anybody.”
MOTHERWELL UP NEXT
GERRARD PREPARES FOR PREMIERSHIP BOW
Steven Gerrard will make his Scottish Premiership bow as Rangers manager live on Sky Sports Football when his side travel to Aberdeen on Sunday.
The former Liverpool captain has started his tenure at Ibrox in impressive fashion, guiding the club through two Europa League qualification rounds.
You can read our preview HERE...
STORY SO FAR
Sky Sports News has been around the grounds in Scotland, including a visit to Celtic Park to speak to Brendan Rodgers.
Having spoken with eight members of the Scottish top-flight we still have visits to four more representatives.
Away from the build-up to the opening weekend of the Premiership, there is some breaking news of a potential Motherwell departure.
Sky sources understand Cedric Kipre will sign for Wigan Athletic later in a deal worth £1m.
Kipre played in both the Scottish Cup and League Cup Finals last season for The Steelmen.
HEARTS UP FIRST FOR ACCIES
Hearts play Hamilton Academical in their Premiership opener on Saturday and Charles Patterson has visited the Accies, where kitman Danny Cunning steals the show.
Cunning admits he can get "carried away" with on-field decisions...
PENNY THANKFUL FOR VARDY ACADEMY
Hamilton Academical defender Alex Penny says attending Jamie Vardy's V9 Academy played a big part in his development as a professional footballer.
"It's been massively beneficial. Since being part of the Jamie Vardy Academy I went from there straight to Peterborough... then I got a call from the gaffer up here at Hamilton and I wasn't going to turn it down," he told Sky Sports News.
"He said he wanted me to be part of the team and I needed to play games, so it was perfect for me."
WARBURTON BACKS GERRARD
Former Rangers boss Mark Warburton says Steven Gerrard will "relish" the challenge of his first season as Gers manager...
TO MOTHERWELL WE GO
MCGINN ENJOYING FEEL-GOOD FACTOR
Defender Paul McGinn says he's pleased to be back at St Mirren, but admits it will feel 'strange' playing in a team captained by his brother Stephen.
"It's a good place to be and I'm glad to be back", he told Sky Sports News.
"I think the feel-good factor is still here. Hopefully we can keep it going.
Asked what it is like to play alongside his brother, he said: "I did it at Dundee.
"Now that he's the captain, it's a bit strange that he's dishing out orders."
SCOTTISH PREMIERSHIP PREVIEW
From Celtic aiming for eight and Steven Gerrard's Rangers test to players to watch - Sky Sports' Charles Paterson highlights what to look out for in the Scottish Premiership this season, RIGHT HERE...
ST MIRREN UP NEXT
'MILLER BRINGS BELIEF'
Livingston striker Lee Miller says Kenny Miller has brought real belief to the squad...
LIVE AT DENS PARK
MCCANN AIMING HIGH
Dundee boss Neil McCann says he is targeting a top-six-finish and a positive Cup run this season.
"It's never enjoyable when you're down at the bottom of the table," he told Sky Sports News.
"We're all looking to try and get into the top six, so I'll set the team that same target.
"Clearly we want a Cup run as well.
"It's not being arrogant or disrespectful. We want the club to be ambitious and we want the team to be ambitious.
"I do believe we've got the right players that, if we do get it right on the pitch, we can achieve that."
NABI: PHILOSOPHY ENTICED ME
New Dundee loanee Adil Nabi says he wants to hit the ground running at the club.
The West Brom striker joined Neil McCann's side on a six-month deal this week.
"It's a big club. I spoke to the manager about the club and the way they play, and the whole philosophy of the football club enticed me in" Nabi said.
"I'm looking forward to getting started tomorrow.
"We want to get as many points as we can.
"A top six finish is where we want to be finishing.
"For myself it's just playing, playing, playing and performing each game when I'm called upon."
MILLER: WE'RE GOING THERE TO WIN
Livingston player-manager Kenny Miller is looking forward to facing Celtic on opening day...
DUNDEE UP SOON
... but will our reporter Mark Benstead keep off the grass...?
THIS WEEKEND ON SKY SPORTS
'WINNING PREMIERSHIP A CHALLENGE'
Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers says winning the Scottish Premiership will be a challenge...
A TRIP TO TYNECASTLE
NAISMITH EYEING INTERNATIONAL RETURN
Asked whether he feels he can win his way back into the Scotland set-up, Steven Naismith said: "With every player that's involved, you need to be playing week-in week-out to probably be in contention.
"If I can start the season well and push on, why can't I get back in it?
"I think I'm somebody who loves every minute of being involved in the international scene.
"Hopefully I can get back in there."
CONTINUING WHERE HE LEFT OFF
Steven Naismith says the experience of last season's loan spell at Hearts left him wanting more of the same this season.
Naismith rejoined the side from Norwich City last month.
"I came in for that four months and it worked really well," he told Sky Sports News.
"I got more than I expected out of it and I'm glad that the two clubs have agreed to continue it on, and that's what's happened.
"It's good for everybody all round."
LEVEIN ON PRE-SEASON
Hearts Head Coach Craig Levein says he is pleased with how his players have gelled in pre-season, following the club's new arrivals.
"I made a decision I would be using the players who hit form early. It's quite easy to tell in training and also in pre-season matches, who has hit the ground running," he said.
"There are some other players who have been a little slower to hit form - that's normal.
"Every season, some players are quicker than others to get up and running."
OUT OF BREATH CHARLES?
HEARTS UP NEXT FOR PATERSON
We continue our whistle stop tour of the Scottish Premiership with a visit to Edinburgh and Hearts.
Charles Paterson will be speaking to Craig Levein and Steven
Naismith at Tynecastle.
DUNDEE NEXT FOR BENSTEAD
Two down, two to go for Sky Sports reporter Mark Benstead, who is now on his way to Dundee after visiting St Johnstone.
WRIGHT: OUR FUTURE IS BRIGHT
St Johnstone boss Tommy Wright is excited by the potential of his young squad after a number of high-profile departures this summer.
KENNEDY: I'VE NO REGRETS
Kilmarnock striker Matty Kennedy returns to Scottish football with St Johnstone
this season – six years after leaving the club to join Everton as a youngster.
face his former side at Rugby Park on Saturday and the 23-year-old insists he
has no regrets about his spell south of the border.
He said: “I
have no regrets moving down. The experience I’ve got makes you grow as a person
so I’ve got no regrets.
been there [Rugby Park] for six years so it’s going to be strange.”
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