Reviving footballing careers that have gone south during an annus horribilis of Covid-19 lockdown restrictions is about to get under way in the north of Glasgow.

And doesn’t it seem more than a tad appropriate for the source of this welcome shot in the arm for the lower league game to be Springburn Park, whose vast grounds contain an entrance to nearby Stobhill Hospital.

Among the many developed features of the park, purchased by city fathers as far back as 1892, is a synthetic pitch sports facility which is about to stage a festival of football over five consecutive weekends commencing Saturday 22nd May .

Credit for the innovative concept belongs to St Roch's team boss Paul Kelly, whose brainchild is for his WoSFL side to participate in a mini-league against fellow Conference Division outfits Ashfield, Maryhill and St Anthony's - as well as top-flight pair Rossvale and Rob Roy.

Staggered kick off times (10am/12 noon/2pm) will accomodate three games being played each Saturday and clubs already have sight of their opponents with all five weeks of fixtures drawn up, starting with Rob Roy v Ashfield (10am), Maryhill v Rossvale (midday) and St Anthony’s v St Roch’s (2pm).

Kelly, a manager with Partick Thistle Charitable Trust in his day job, is doing his utmost to plan for every eventuality surrounding the festival but is being hampered by an over-riding need to comply with whatever coronavirus regulations are applicable two weeks further down the road.

He explained:“Teams will be required to arrive kitted out to play their games, as there is no access to Springburn Park’s changing rooms unless an easing of restrictions is put in place over the coming fortnight.

Glasgow Times:

READ MORE: Best of the West: Rossvale boss David Gormley aiming high ahead of next season

“At present, spectators are another no-no, and we will also be asking all participating sides to clean up their dugout areas after them in order to guard against any spread of infection."

Kelly, a midfielder with Pollok, Cambuslang Rangers and the Candy Rock during his playing career, added: "It’s still not football as we know it but this festival is a step in the right direction - and a much-needed one at that.

“There are guys taking part who will not have played football for periods ranging from six to twelve months, and even longer in some cases. So this is an ideal opportunity for them to not only rediscover their touch but also a  hunger and enthusiasm for the game.

“Knowing the other teams and managers, I’ve no doubt a strong element of competitiveness is sure to prevail. However, picking up winners' medals is not what this festival is all about.”

The departure of Dan Kindlan (to Rossvale) is the only reported change to a St Roch's playing squad that Kelly intends to nevertheless boost prior to the Springburn Park festival kicking off.

He said: "Nobody here has been thinking we’re the finished article so talks have taken place with a number of signing targets and hopefully we can tie up a few deals over the coming weeks.

“Bringing in new faces will give everyone a lift but not so much as getting our supporters in through the gates again and I just hope every club can pull together to ensure we don’t start up if there’s any likelihood of another Covid-disrupted season.

“Last season was a costly exercise that saw clubs able to keep their heads above water but I can see some going to the wall if they are forced to do it all again.”

Yet another seasoned gaffer helping to resurrect playing careers is Brian McLuckie of Irvine Vics who claims to have developed a string of talented youngsters able to not look out of place at higher level clubs such as Kilwinning Rangers and Irvine Meadow - as well as the Senior ranks.

Glasgow Times:

READ MORE: Best of the West: St Cadocs boss Craig McEwan lauds youngsters for stepping in to replace string of departures

The latest of his discoveries, 19-year-old Glasgow-based Daniel Martin, formerly on the books of Morton, has figured in a somewhat unique transfer after sealing a move to Polish side Cosmos Novotaniec, based in the town of Bukowsko.

Vics boss McLuckie said: "Daniel is a physically-powerful type whose sheer commitment and desire marked him out as somebody special, and he had established himself as our team captain even though still a teenager.

“The WoSFL going into lockdown led to him travelling over to Poland to play in trials for Cosmos and he imade such a good impression that they got in touch about his availability and we as a club agreed to release him, rather than block his transfer there.

“Hopefully the move works out for him but if it doesn’t then Daniel knows he will always be welcome back at Victoria Park.”

A sooner-than-expected return to these shores could see Martin in demand as WoSFL big guns Kilwinning Rangers are looking to replenish their defensive ranks left sorely depleted by regulars Sam McCloskey, Tommy Maitland and Jamie Whyte opting to move away, hard on the heels of Kilmarnock recalling loan starlet Craig Ross.