BEING one of the favourites to win League One "means nothing" to Dunfermline boss James McPake.

The fixtures for the 2022-23 season in Scottish football came out this morning and his team will start their campaign at home against Alloa Athletic on Saturday July 30.

And it'll be deja vu for James McPake's men as they play the Wasps at East End Park seven days before, in the league cup. After that double header Pars will be in the capital for a match against the newly renamed FC Edinburgh on August 6 before welcoming Montrose on August 13.

And the Fife derby is on August 20 with the Pars making the short trip to New Central Park to face Kelty Hearts.

After being demoted from the Championship last term and being one of four full-time teams in the division, Athletic will be one of the tips for the title. But McPake said: "I've had it at Dundee, being one of the favourites in a league, but it means nothing.

"It doesn't guarantee you get out of a league.

"I focus only on Dunfermline, getting three points on a Saturday and then moving onto the next game.

"The outside noise we can't control. People will say what they say.

"But we're in this league for a reason, because we weren't good enough to stay in the Championship.

"Were we favourites to get relegated last season? No. So it just shows you that being classed as favourites doesn't always show the real picture."

He added: "I've not looked at the odds. It doesn't bother me.

"Our team will be set out the same way whether it's Kelty, Falkirk, Airdrie, Clyde or Alloa, to go out and do everything they can to get three points.

"If other teams raise their game against us, so be it. I can only control what happens at Dunfermline."

The other club relegated from the Championship last season, Queen of the South, host the Pars on September 3 and the first clash with Athletic's bitter rivals, Falkirk, is at East End on September 17.

John Potter's side come to Dunfermline on October 29 and there will be fireworks with an away day at the Bairns the following week, November 5.

Other highlights include a Christmas Eve derby at Kelty while the New Year clash will see Falkirk first foot on January 2, followed by trips to Edinburgh and Clyde that same month.

McPake said: "I found out pretty quickly from speaking to people but also when I join a club I like to do my homework, and it didn't take me long to find the games the fans are looking forward to and what games they're desperate for us to win.

"I'm desperate to win them all."

April could be pivotal, with matches against Kelty, Falkirk, Queen of the South and Airdrie, and the season wraps up for the Pars the way it starts, with a match against Alloa, this time at the Indodrill.

McPake is predicting a "very tough league" and doesn't accept the notion the full-time teams have any kind of advantage, pointing to Arbroath who came within a whisker of getting to the Premiership last season.

He said: "They're a part-time team. Part-time teams are fit, they're strong, they've got good players, the gulf isn't there.

"You probably had it back to when I played, when I was younger at Livingston and we'd meet a part-time team in the cup.

"But now they're all as fit, they've got programmes, they're all doing their bit and can match anyone that's full-time.

"I don't buy into it, whether you're part-time or full-time, all we can control is Dunfermline."

His team will warm up for the League One kick-off with three league cup matches, East Fife away on July 9, at home to Buckie Thistle on July 12, Ross County away on July 16 and Alloa at home on July 23.

McPake confirmed that the league cup matches won't be used as preparation for the league campaign, arguing: "It's a national cup competition and we'll be going out to do the best we can. We want to win those matches."

Before then there are away friendlies against Cove on June 25 and Forfar on June 28, with a date for Stenhousemuir still to be firmed up and a game against Premiership opposition to come.

The Pars boss said: "It's great the fixtures are out, you get the feeling the new season is coming around.

"It's part of the process, you do your work in pre-season, the fixtures are out and it gives you that wee buzz for the games starting. I'm looking forward to it.

"I know all about Alloa, played against them often enough, and it doesn't matter the matches are in close succession.

"I've experienced that as a player and as a manager, back-to-back games, you focus on the first one which is East Fife on July 9.

"When it comes to Alloa we'll focus on one at a time."

German sporting director Thomas Meggle was at the club today and McPake said: "We've been talking about everything, the fixtures, what we're trying to do with the club, how the players were looking.

"It's great having him over, he's enjoying watching training and he's been very supportive, as has David and everyone else at the club.

"The staff have been fantastic."