CALEY Thistle swept to a searing 6-0 midweek friendly win away to Highland League opponents Deveronvale as the SPL kick-off countdown continues.
The Inverness side will start their season in just over two weeks away to St Mirren and manager Terry Butcher is delighted by the progress shown over the summer.
Five signings have been made so far - defenders David Raven and Gary Warren, midfielder Ross Draper, 19-year-old forward Jason Oswell and Spanish goalkeeper Antonio Reguero.
Andrew Shinnie got ICT off and running on Wednesday at Princess Royal Park when he cracked a 20-yarder beyond goalkeeper Darren McConnachie after 11 minutes.
Shane Sutherland, who will be looking to step up this year following Jonny Hayes’ departure to Aberdeen, netted from close range 14 minutes later,
Vale struggled to get into the game and the SPL side upped the ante further and grabbed two more goals before the break.
Aaron Doran, another player who will be aiming to excite supporters with skill on the flanks this term, went on a surging run and he teed up Graeme Shinnie, whose classy finish left McConnachie beaten.
Sutherland then fired home a fine effort from 12 yards to make it 4-0 for Butcher’s team.
Nick Ross, who Butcher expects to be more clinical, showed the boss what he can deliver when he came off the bench and fired an unstoppable shot high into the roof of the net from 10 yards.
This followed on from his late goal in the 1-0 win at Elgin City on Saturday and he’ll be a contender for a start on Saturday against League One side Coventry City.
Striker Billy McKay also chipped in with a goal after coming on when he beat the offside trap and slotted the ball past the keeper to complete the night’s fine work for ICT.