DEREK Adams admits he will be proud to host a Manchester United XI at Ross County’s refurbished Global Energy Stadium after witnessing another summer of dramatic ground improvement.
Excitement rose around the Dingwall club this week ahead of a visit by a side representing the English Premier League champions. Adams feels it is a measure of just how far County have come that they have lured the Red Devils for their only appearance north of the border this summer.
The travelling party jetting into Inverness this morning is expected to contain mainly under-20s and fringe players, but the occasion will still represent a historic chapter in County’s story. Although the bulk of the United first team are on duty in the Far East, Scotland international Darren Fletcher is one who may play. There is also intense speculation that Sir Alex Ferguson, now retired as manager but embedded in the Old Trafford hierarchy, will make the trip.
It was the Scottish legend himself who telephoned County director of football George Adams this summer to ensure he honoured a longstanding pledge to take his team to Dingwall. Adams snr was Ferguson’s first signing in management and served as youth scout at Aberdeen during the Gothenburg era.
It all adds up to an intriguing afternoon to mark the opening of the final phase of redevelopment at the Dingwall stadium. The work over the summer has restored the lush appearance of last season’s much-ridiculed playing surface, while completing the east stand to impressive proportions.
Adams said: “We have three very difficult games to come now against Manchester United, Den Bosch and Zwolle. We’re looking forward to it.
“It will be great to play at the stadium again on a really good surface against a club of the stature of Manchester United. The ground has been refurbished and looks fantastic.
“The new players will get a chance to play there before the new season, which was something George [Adams, director of football] and I spoke about before the end of last season. We felt it was important we got a game on the new pitch and George was able to get Manchester United up, so we really had to get the pitch ready for this week. It is looking great – the pitch, the grass, the whole infrastructure of stands and seating.
“It really is something that a lot of Ross county fans would never have envisaged. I’m delighted to be part of that and I think the players are as well.”