Kilmarnock new-boy Martin Smith says that Lee Clark’s legion of young recruits mean business, and that they are here to fire the Rugby Park side to the top half of the Premiership table.

Killie boss Clark unveiled eleven new players this week, the oldest of which is Callum McFadzean at just 22.

A host of players have arrived either permanently or on loan from the development squads of English clubs, including 20-year-old central midfielder Smith on-loan from Sunderland.

He is adamant that the culture these players have been brought up in at those clubs will serve them well as they taste first-team football at the highest level in Scotland.

He said: “We’re under no illusions that we need to put serious hard work in, but we’ve all come from clubs where that is the norm, and we’re ready to put that in for this club.

“It’s a results business, and what we want to do is get off to a winning start in the League Cup on July 16th.

“I’ve come here to do well, I haven’t come here just to be in the squad or to be a bit-part player. We’ve all come here to prove something and help the club to do better than it has in recent years.

“It’s down to all of us, but me as an individual too, to prove myself and show what I’m capable of, and I can’t wait to get going and show the fans what I can do.

“I’m excited by the opportunity. The responsibility is on me to repay the faith that has been shown in me by the gaffer by performing on the pitch.

“I’ll give one hundred percent every day for the club and the fans, because it’s a passionate club and this is a great opportunity for me.”

Scotland striker Steven Fletcher, who has now joined Sheffield Wednesday from Sunderland after a loan spell at French giants Marseille, sold his young former teammate on the move north.

“I spoke to him and he speaks highly of when he was at Hibs and he speaks highly of the league,” Smith said. “He told me it was a great opportunity, especially for young players.

“We spoke about it in-depth and he didn’t have a bad word to say about it. He’s Scottish obviously so I don’t think that he would!

“I do listen to him though, because he’s got a lot of experience and he knows what he’s on about. I’m looking forward to experiencing that for myself.”