Will Neilston go on to win the Conference B title this season? And what might be the scale of their achievement if a 15-year wait for silverware to adorn the Brig O’Lea trophy cabinet finally comes to an end?

The short answers can only be 'very possibly' and 'outstanding' in the wake of a  truly phenomenal start to their coronavirus-affected league campaign which sees the Farmers Boys laying claim to the not inconsiderable feat of the only 100% record among WOSFL clubs (from eight league matches).

One can imagine Neilston’s avid shed supporters clamouring to also point out their team are by far and away the highest goalscorers doing the rounds (averaging almost four goals per game) which will no doubt be a source of great satisfaction for Derek Carson and Chris Cameron, the co-management duo, after having unashamedly set their stall out to improve their side’s firepower before a ball was kicked this season.

Carson, an uncompromising defender with Beith, Neilston, Johnstone Burgh and Renfrew, during his playing days, admitted: “Chrissy and I spent last season settling into the job and we always felt there was the makings of a decent side not least because there was a solid shape to us defensively.

“You could say matters were not so promising at the other end of the pitch so we took it upon ourselves to boost our forward going options during the close season with the additions of strikers Jamie Docherty and Kieran Brophy as well as a couple of out and out attacking midfielders Conor Bulger and Ollie Smith from the juvenile ranks.

“Smith, formerly of Johnstone Burgh Under 21’s has been a revelation, able to play anywhere across the midfield to great effect, and Bulger has posed a real threat coming down the left side while the new guys up front have allowed Dylan Fletcher to be withdrawn to the right side of our midfield where his energy and determination to get forward has brought no end of scoring rewards.

”Chrissy and I set this Neilston team out to play with two frontmen but more often than not we can have  four or five bodies looking to get on the end of things in the opposition penalty box which helps  explains our high scoring return.”

The 41-year-old added: “Having so many natural attacking options is great but it would be remiss of me not to give special mention to the contribution of the most experienced player in our squad, Stephen Docherty, in his 10th season at the Brig O’Lea.

“His role is that of the disciplined midfield sitter who acts as a shield in front of our backline but more importantly he carries out the less glamorous midfield duties that compliments the other guys and allows them to go and express themselves.”

Neilston impressively roaring out of the blocks in their Conference B openers did not prevent their ambitious co-managers from further adding to their armoury with the loan signing in November of highly regarded hitman Adam Forde whose Pollok team have withdrawn from the WOSFL .

Deerk revealed: “Fordy is a local born and bred Neilston boy so hearing he was keen to keep playing got Chrissy and I thinking so we took the bull by the horns and approached the Pollok gaffer Murdie McKinnon about a season long loan deal.

“No obstacles were put in our way so a delighted Fordy put pen to paper and it would be fair to say he has already underlined his worth by bagging a number of key goals.

“Even more importantly his attitude and willingness to put in a shift for the team has been a joy to behold and our longer term hope is for the younger players to watch and learn from playing alongside someone of his  abilities and standing in the game."

One would have thought this plethora of striking options is sure to provide a selection headache when or if time is eventually called on the current suspension of lower league football yet the Carson and Cameron duo did not hesitate to delve into the transfer market last weekend  and snap up ex-Beith, Irvine Meadow and Renfrew frontman Darren Jones.

Derek insisted: “Darren is someone I’ve admired for a long time and Chrissy is more aware than most of his qualities from having played alongside him at Renfrew so we could not resist this opportunity to get another top striker on board.

“Lockdown restrictions have prevented him meeting up with the other guys up to now but he’ll get the chance to settle into his new surroundings once things ease and we would then expect him to be pushing for a jersey.

“Yes we are going to be top-heavy in terms of forwards but we know Fordy is a Pollok player and will not be here in the longer term so it can only work in our favour to have a ready-made top notch replacement like Darren.”

A planned Zoom Conference meeting tonight between the SFA and lower league associations is set to discuss and review the likelihood of a possible restart date for the WOSFL without carrying out Covid-19 tests on players as is currently required by Premier League and Championship clubs.

Carson said: ”My hope is for a restart date to set sights on because right now Chrissy and I make a point of telephoning around all the guys and you end up making small talk because of not having anything definite to tell them on the football front.

“Should the current situation continue much longer then our underlying fear is all the hard work put in to build this Neilston side could be for nothing if players drift away from the game altogether.

“That has to be a very real possibility as Neilston haven’t played since mid-December, a break of eight weeks which will possibly extend out to twelve weeks if (and it’s a big if) we get the green light to get going again in early March.

Neilston, with 24 points in the bank from eight outings, are ideally placed should a curtailing of this season result in titles being awarded on a PPG basis (average points per game) which is the fallback option for WOSFL officials however “old school” pair Carson and Cameron are outspoken critics of matters being decided in this manner.

Said the one-time defensive lynchpin: ”Neilston as a club last won a league title under Sammy Johnston back in 2006 so it would mean the world  to supporters and our hard working committee to have a flag flying at the ground again yet  everyone I’ve spoken to about how this season could eventually pan out is dead against the PPG idea.

“Neither does the prospect sit well with Chrissy and I because we want to play the league to a conclusion and if it means alternating between three and four  games per week when the bright nights come in then let’s have a go at it.”