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Partick Thistle FC

Rudden feeling ready for Championship opener

Few players had a greater impact on Thistle’s late season form last term than Zak Rudden. The striker found his scoring touch at just the right time for Ian McCall’s side, scoring six in six games as the Maryhill men secured the League One title and Rudden will be keen to continue that sort of record as the new league campaign starts this Saturday against Queen of the South at Firhill. He managed two goals in four appearances during the Premier Sports Cup group stages and told that he can’t wait to get stuck into the Championship fixtures:

“It should be a good one this weekend. It’s been a while now since the last league season ended so it’ll be good to get back to it. We know it’s going to be a tough game but hopefully we can get the win and just push on from there.

“For us, a good start would be huge. To be able to get three points on the board sets you off on the right foot and gives you the confidence to kick on and get more wins as you get into the games.”

Zak missed all the team’s pre-season friendlies, however, he feels the Premier Sports Cup group stage games have helped him get up to speed ahead of the cinch Championship getting underway.

“I’m feeling good, although I was a bit tired after the weekend to be honest because it was a tough shift but I feel good now, I feel fresh and I’m up to fitness. Hopefully everyone can see that I’ve been running myself into the ground at times and the work I’ve put in means I’m feeling ready now.”

Rudden scored his first goal with Thistle fans in the stadium against Dunfermline Athletic in our competitive opener and although he’s hopeful he can add a first league goal with Jags fans in the ground against the Doonhamers, he knows it’s all about the victory.

“It was a great feeling to score and hear that cheer from the crowd against Dunfermline and of course, as a striker, I’m always looking to score goals but it has to be team first so I’ll just be doing whatever I can to help us get all three points.”

There have been two new additions made to the Thistle squad in the last week or so with Lewis Mayo and Cammy Smith joining the club and Zak says it’s really exciting to see the manager adding more talent to the group.

“They should be two good signings for us. Cammy’s someone I’ve seen from watching games before so I’m looking forward to getting to know him and trying to build that rapport. Big Lewis is a very solid defender; he was here the season before last but it was cut short so we’re happy to see him back for a full season this time.

“The gaffer’s now brought a handful of new boys in to add to what we had last season and the new guys are of a really good quality as well. We’ve got that extra depth now which you need over a long season and there are players who can come off the bench and make an impact. It’s a team game and you need to have a full squad of players who are good enough to play a part and we feel like we’ve just about got that now.”

Exclusive video interviews with Ross Docherty and Thistle assistant manager Alan Archibald will be available for JagZone subscribers to watch today – log in to view.

JagZone subscribers will be able to tune in to live audio commentary for our clash with Queen of the South, starting at 2:30pm – click here to tune in.

There will also be a pay-per-view option, priced at £12, for any supporter who wishes to watch our live stream of the match – click here for more info.

We’ll have extended highlights and a full game replay of the fixture on JagZone following the game.

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