Kennoway Star Hearts hope experience on and off the park will bring a gloss of professionalism to their new Premier League campaign.
The Treaton Park side signed ex-East Fife skipper Craig Johnstone earlier in the summer, while Kevin Byers, a Levenmouth lad with many years in the game, will be assistant manager.
Boss Eck Davidson has made other additions to the squad, with KSH’s pre-season games starting this weekend.
The arrival of ex-Bayview captain ‘Stoney’ helped bring other players in, said Davidson – such as Mattie Gay, who joins brother Chris at Star of Markinch, and Luke Binnington, a 19-year-old from Kirkcaldy YM of whom “big things are expected”.
Kevin Byers’ services have been retained for another year. The veteran player was thinking of retiring but he’ll instead be Davidson’s assistant – perhaps used sparingly as a player if required.
“Going from amateur to junior was a massive step and it was about consolidating our place at first,” said Davidson. “To win promotion and retain our place in the Premier League shows we have done a lot right, but we also did a couple of things wrong.” The presence of Johnstone and Byers would hopefully tighten up the team’s approach in certain areas, he added.
This Saturday, KSH play Rosyth Juniors at Rosyth, with the winners facing either Tynecastle or Berwick Rangers U21s on Sunday. Three more games follow, all at Treaton Park – Lumphinnans (July 23), Kingdom Athletic (July 27) and Leven United (July 30).
Chris Lornie has not put pen to paper, while Ian Boylan’s future is also uncertain.