Long before coming under starter’s orders (16 weeks and counting allegedly) Petershill team boss Martin Lauchlan has allowed supporters a raised sense of expectation about the new 2021/22 season.

The one-time Partick Thistle and St Johnstone midfielder has been known to push the boundaries of unorthodoxy during a somewhat chequered footballing career but his novel approach to recruitment at the famous old Glasgow club - completing the signing of a 22-man squad before the month of March is out - is an eye-opener even by Locky’s standards.

Only last week the 40-year-old gave every indication his transfer-market dalliances were at an end after experienced centre-back Ross McCabe was brought on board to strengthen his side’s defensive options however Thursday night saw him boldly swoop to fix up forward line duo Lewis McDonald and Gavin Miller from Premier Division outfit Blantyre Vics.

The Peasy gaffer’s interest in the winger types stems back to when they both played under him at Lowland League outfit East Kilbride and their twin moves raises  the number of ex-E.K. players holding down Springburn dressing room pegs to five, Fabio Capuano, Kieran Campbell and Scott Brodie the others.

Lauchlan was previously linked with failed attempts to land the highly regarded pairing at the start of last season, but admits he had never been dissuaded from turning up at their doorsteps again.

He insisted: ”Lewis and Gavin are both exciting young players with pace to burn and no little skill so I’m pretty sure our supporters will take to them in a heartbeat.

“They, along with Rossco, back for a second spell at Petershill where he was previously the club skipper, are the final pieces in a jigsaw that myself, Carlo Girasolli and Robbo (Paul Roberts) have been working on for the past year and we are delighted with how things have finally come together.

“Most things have gone according to plan though it did surprise us somewhat when Dom McLaren opted to join Caledonia Braves and Jordan Murch moved to Johnstone Burgh on top of Corey Irvine announcing he was going back to the USA to finish his degree course.

“A parting of the ways also arrived with the decision to release Scott Anson and Josh Watt from their contracts however any fears over losing their great experience are compensated for by Campbell coming back from loan as well as Chris Hall putting pen to paper on a return to the club.

“Chrissy is so adept at holding the ball up and bringing others into play and I’m keen to see how he partners up with the direct running Lewis and Gavin.

”I’m not for one minute saying we will set up to play three strikers all the time but it’s comforting to know the option is in your armory if needed.”

McCabe, who has turned out with both  Pollok and Cumbernauld United since his previous Petershill playing stint, is seen as a direct replacement for the towering  McLaren however Lauchlan has also welcomed back loaned out defensive pair Jack Breslin and Craig McGregor as well as the versatile David Aubrey.

He added: “Petershill deciding to take a year out because of Covid led to just about every player on the books asking to be loaned out and we went with our gut instincts in agreeing to many deals.

“There is always the risk of some you get wrong but I’m glad to say however all the guys have committed to coming back and we’re in the fortunate position of having 22 signed Petershill players raring to go when the green light is given to play again.

“A 17th July date was announced earlier this week and we will make our plans to resume training and arrange friendly matches accordingly."

The proposed restart, on the Saturday of the traditional Glasgow Fair weekend and one  week on from the conclusion of this summer's Euro 2020, was mooted in a release by WoSFL vice-chairman Colin Boyd revealing how he and fellow Board officials intend to avoid any fixtures back-log.

He stated: "July 17 is a date we're looking at. We've a mountain of fixtures ahead of us with a bloated Premier League of 20 teams and the first year of the West of Scotland Cup thrown into the mix on top of the South Challenge Cup, and potentially the Scottish Cup for some teams.

"It's about finding the best way to settle back in. If everything goes well with the Euros and we see fans back at Hampden, then hopefully we're in a position to welcome supporters back at our level."

Boyd, who doubles as chairman of ambitious Kilwinning Rangers, went on to confirm that five teams have so far submitted applications to join the WoSFL even though successful candidates will be unable to gain promotion in the first year because that right is reserved for the WoSFL’s original 67 member clubs.

Harmony Row Youth Club, whose patron is none other than legendary ex-Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson, are alleged to be one of the applicants along with Saltcoats based Kilbryde Thistle and current East Region South Division outfit Harthill Royal.