Ashfield gaffer Paul Maxwell knew scoring sensation Callum Graham has been playing with a target on his back ever since he exploded onto the Saracen Park scene in the season before last.

Well it’s now looking like Pollok have hit the bullseye after an audacious signing swoop led to the 24-year-old moving across city to fill the firepower void left by the departure of Chris Dallas to St Cadocs and more recently, Iain Morrison obtaining his release to join Cowdenbeath where he has been on loan.

A product of little-known Motherwell Kings in the Lanarkshire Churches League, Graham helped himself to a remarkable 42 goals in that Juniors baptism, inclusive of a five-goal starring performance in a 7-3 hammering of Maybole that saw him receive a “Silver Dollar”, the unique Ashfield award bestowed on any of their players scoring five goals or more in a game.

He might possibly have gone on to amass 50 goals but for coronavirus-imposed restrictions cutting short the 2019/20 season with the famous old Possil club yet to fulfil 10 of their fixtures and one can only speculate over what his total might have been in the horribly disrupted 2020/21 campaign, prematurely ended by a null and void declaration, with him having notched seven times in the mere five games played.

He also netted in a 2-1 pre-season friendly defeat at Newlandsfield, an experience which left a lasting impression on the tall hitman according to manager Maxwell.

He revealed: “All manner of clubs have enquired after Callum, as you might expect with someone of his penalty-box qualities, however he has steadfastly turned down each and every approach up to now because he is happy playing at Ashfield.

“I felt he would only be leaving here if a senior club came calling but I do remember he came away after that pre-season match, very impressed with the atmosphere and overall Pollok set-up so I always knew holding on to him was going to be difficult if they ever renewed their signing interest.

“I say renewed because Murdie MacKinnon did touch base about Callum’s availability after his terrific display in that Pollok game however Murdie didn’t follow up his initial chat after Pollok then withdrew from the WoSFL so I thought his interest was dead and buried.

“Evidently he had only put things on the back burner because he recently got back in touch over Callum, much to my disappointment I must add as the prospect of  losing arguably the best goalscorer to come into the Junior ranks in recent times is a sore one for Ashfield and for me personally.

“That said, we just couldn’t stand in the way of what is a dream opportunity for Callum and he goes with our best wishes for his footballing future.

Maxi cautioned: “He’s a wonderful lad but still something of a raw talent with a lot of lessons yet to be learned at this level and it’s crucial for his development to be playing games on a regular basis.

“And in this respect, my fear is the sheer competition for places at Pollok given that Murdie already has established strikers in Adam Forde, Stewart McCann and Jordan Shelvey as well as highly regarded youngster Josh Weir so Callum very quickly has to make his mark in that company."

Pollok’s latest hitman addition owned up to being excited about his move to the Premier Division kingpins in saying: “Having such a long close season is torture because I’m champing at the bit to meet my new team-mates and get started on taking my game to another level with Pollok.

“I don’t believe any other club could have enticed me to leave Ashfield where I’ve made so many good friends and hopefully I can settle quickly into my new surroundings.

“I know there are top-notch strikers already at the club but Murdie thinks I can make a difference and that’s good enough for me.”

Graham is not the only high-profile Saracen Park departure as yet another Silver Dollar winner, former skipper Ciaran Friel has been released at his own request due to family and work commitments.

Also heading for the exits are seasoned midfielders  Michael Giblin and Paul McQuilken as well as veteran front man Graham Hearton who has finally conceded  defeat to a seemingly never-ending array of strains and pulled muscle injuries by hanging up the boots .

Goalkeeper Del Moore taking time out to concentrate on a Psychology Degree leaves yet another vacancy to be filled and it remains to be seen whether Craig Sideserf, (younger brother of Pollok stalwart Mark) will resist the temptations on offer  to move away to pastures new.