It’s hard to take Keir Milliken serious when you hear him insisting he is 'just one of the guys' down at Largs Thistle.

The 33-year-old’s previous playing stints turning out with Irvine Meadow, Auchinleck Talbot and Beith have seen him win every top Junior football honour going, many of them several times over, and he has accumulated a glittering collection of gongs, 23 at the last count, which is more than that of all his Barrfields team-mates put together.

A naturally reserved person, Milky freely admits to being as hungry for success as ever yet despite not being content with this extraordinary haul, he still turned his back on the opportunity to go for a third Scottish Junior Cup winners medal - two were won with Talbot - when he departed Bellsdale Park last June with the Mighty facing a semi-final date (yet to be played) against Broughty Athletic or Darvel.

“I’ve never been one for looking back and wondering what might have been, or in this particular case what might be?” scoffed the experienced ace.

“Anyway you could argue that I might not be a part of things if I had stayed on board when you look now at the many dressing-room personnel changes to have taken place since I was on the books.

“I counted only five players remaining from last season’s 18-strong squad when our paths crossed in a pre-season friendly match though that number has recently gone up to six after Kenny McLean returned.

“It will be a different Beith line-up whenever the semi-final comes about but that might not be a bad thing.”

Milky came across as unflinchingly honest looking ahead to today’s return to his old stomping ground which sees him and his Largs team-mates seeking to extend  their unbeaten run to six games.

He insisted: ”People might think our fourth place in the table and recent good  form makes us strong favourites tomorrow but my 14 years in the Junior ranks has taught me that opposing sides never find the points easy to come by at Bellsdale.

“Nothing has changed in that respect this season even though Butch (Mighty boss Bryan Young) has turned to youth in order to supplement the more experienced types at his disposal such as Kenny, Paul Frize and the Docherty pair, Ryan and Nicky.

“You would have to say his rebuild of the team has gone better than expected considering Beith have stayed unbeaten in the league to date and are possibly only down in their current bottom half of the table position because they have played fewer games than most other teams, Largs included.

“Butch has clearly strengthened their defensive shape judging by back to back clean sheets against Irvine Meadow and Clydebank so the likelihood is goalscoring chances will be at a premium and our attacking players need to be on our game to take advantage of what few come our way.

”Obviously an added edge comes from wanting to do well against my old team but these are the type of games you want to take part in and I cannot wait for kick off time.”

Beith’s backline might think it somewhat ominous that Milliken has yet to get off the scoring mark since coming on board at Barrfields however he looks a certain pick  for the Stuart Davidson steered Theesel  today even if  his starting position is less easy to predict.

He’s mainly been deployed in the left of an attacking trio, as was the case in last weekend’s impressive 3-1 victory over Blantyre Vics, which saw striker Scott Adam help himself to a well-taken hat trick , but  previous clubs have not hesitated in stationing  Milky to great effect at left-back, midfield and even central defence.

He conceded: “I’m an adaptable sort who has always been prepared to play wherever I’m asked for the good of the team but my current role at Largs is where I feel best suited even though the competition for forward line places is probably more intense.

“Big Addy is scoring for fun and you would have to say he is a shoo-in for a jersey most weeks however that is certainly not the case with myself, Ben Black, William Sewell and also newcomer Jack Haggerty, who previously played out in New Zealand and is shaping up as  a terrific young prospect.

“Arnie mixes and matches permutations as he sees fit going into games and right now none of us know what he has in mind for the Beith game.”

Theesel’s seasoned gaffer Davidson, also a former Auchinleck playing legend, though never in the same team as Milky, admits to being pleased with his side’s form after an inauspicious start to their season.

He revealed: “The injection of Junior nous supplied by close-season signings Milky, Graham Muir and Corey Hughes was exactly what was needed to better the squad of predominantly young players here at Largs.

“And we never once considered going back to the drawing board even though a couple of disappointing 1-0 defeats was our lot from our openers against Clydebank and Irvine Meadow respectively.

“ I don’t want to sound as if I’m making excuses but circumstances played a part in both losses and the response from the players in getting their act together ever since has shown those results to be nothing more than an early blip.

“That said we now face Beith in their own backyard ,an opponent we habitually find it tough to play against, so I’m looking at the 90 minutes representing a huge test of our progress so far.”

The fight to be top of the Premier Division tree going into Christmas takes centre stage today with league leaders Troon heading out on the road to take on a Hurlford United side suitably fired up by their determination  to bounce back from last weekend’s 3-1 defeat by Kilwinning Rangers.

United boss Darren Henderson is set to ring the changes with bustling front man John Gemmell in line to start against one of his former teams while experienced campaigner Ross Fisher is seen as the readymade replacement for central defender Richie McKillen, facing a spell on the sidelines with a hamstring injury sustained at the Buffs Park.

Hoping to capitalize on a Troon slip up are second placed Clydebank, whose manager Gordon Moffat is urging his playing charges to chalk up a  sixth win in six league starts when hosting the visit of his former team Rossvale.

Fixtures (kick-offs 1.45pm
WOSFL Premier Division Clydebank v Rossvale, Bonnyton Thistle v Cumbernauld Utd, Irvine Meadow v  Kilwinning Rangers, Hurlford Utd v Troon, Rob Roy v Blantyre Vics, Rutherglen Glencairn v Darvel, Largs Thistle v Beith.
WOSFL Conference League A Maybole v Muirkirk, Ardeer Thistle v Renfrew, Glasgow University v Ashfield, St Rochs v Kello Rovers, Bellshill Athletic v Annbank Utd, Craigmark v Maryhill.
WOSFL Conference League B Port Glasgow v Vale of Leven, Irvine Vics v Vale of Clyde, Gartcairn v Greenock, Neilston v Carluke Rovers, St Cadocs v Wishaw.
WOSFL Conference League C Lanark Utd v Yoker Athletic, Drumchapel Utd v Thorniewood Utd, Kilsyth Rangers v East Kilbride Thistle, Newmains Utd v Glasgow Perthshire.