Lawless signs new two-year deal with Jags

Stevie Lawless will be back at Firhill next season.

Stevie Lawless will be back at Firhill next season.

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Partick Thistle’s preparations for the coming campaign got a boost last week when midfielder Steven Lawless signed a new two-year contract.

The 25-year-old put pen to paper on a deal which will keep him at the club until the end of the 2017-18 season.

Inverness Caley Thistle and Dundee United had been linked with Lawless, whose contract was due to expire this summer, and manager Alan Archibald said he was delighted overtures to attract Lawless away had been resisted.

He told the club website: “Steven has proved over the last few seasons what a valuable part of the squad he is and I’m delighted he’s committed his long term future to us.

“It came as no surprise that Steven had offers from other Ladbrokes Premiership clubs and I’m delighted that we were able to keep hold of him.”

Lawless joined Jags in 2012 and helped the club gain promotion to the top flight in his first season.

He has now played over 130 games for Thistle and was almost an ever present last season, making 40 appearances and scoring five goals, including the club’s Goal of the Season against St Johnstone.

Lawless and the rest of the squad are due to report back for the start of pre-season a week on Monday, June 20 - but one player who won’t be there is defender Frederic Frans.

The 27-year-old has turned down the reduced terms offered by the club and opted to return to his native Belgium to sign for former club Lierse SK.

Thistle have confirmed their pre-season schedule which will include a week of intensive fitness training at Bath University.

During this period Jags will play two friendlies against English non-league sides.

They will face Southern Premier League Circenster Town on Wednesday, June 29, and National League South outfit Bath City the following Saturday, July 2.

Thistle will then return north and will play two further friendlies against Scottish Championship sides, travelling to face Raith Rovers at Starks Park on Tuesday, July 5, and Morton at Cappielow on Saturday, July 9.

The fixtures for the group phase of the Betfred Cup - the new-look Scottish League Cup - have been announced and have Alan Archibald’s side travelling to Airdrieonians for their first competitive match of the new season on Saturday, July 16.

Thistle sit out the action the following midweek before their first home game against Queen of the South on Saturday, July 23. They travel to Stenhousemuir on Tuesday, July 26, before facing Queen’s Park at home on July 30.