Pat Holland is happy with the early progress of his new under-19 group and, on Thursday, takes them off to Belgium to take part in the Eurofoot Tournament.
The challenge, Pat explains, at this stage is to see how, what is effectively an under-18 team, establish themselves in higher age-group football.
"It is really pleasing, they have worked very hard and the spirit has been good amoungst them," reported Pat. "They are an under-18 group, with no under-19s with them at the moment - hopefully they'll be able to cope with the rigours of the under-19 league when it starts.
"What we use pre-season for is basically to bed the kids in at this level and see how they do."
At this time last year Pat expressed concerns that his then squad of players lacked a little in physical terms and would have to be supplemented by older boys from Colin Calderwood's reserve pool.
"It will possibly be similar," he said, before adding that it is preferable to retain the under-18s. "What we've got to remember is that once the season starts a lot of clubs will use four or five under-19 players and it is nice to be able to do what we did two years ago and go right through with this group of players.
"We should have the luxury of some under-19 players being able to come down, but I think it would be terrific all round if we can keep the younger group together."
The team have already got two pre-season friendlies under their collective belt and Pat feels an improvement was shown in the second game.
"We played DC United very early on, it ended 2-2 and it was not the best of games. We then played Brentford on Saturday and I thought the team did quite well and played some decent football - we ended up 2-1 winners.
"That was pleasing, but it is very early days and it is the first time I've had the group as a whole. I've had certain players with me before like Ricky Dobson, Phil Ifil and Michael Malcolm - but that is about it."