Darren Christie will not be returning to play for Pollok!

That’s the shock news for the Southside club’s supporters to digest with their corn flakes this morning and you can be certain it won’t be the milk  leaving a sour taste in their mouths as much as 33-year-old Daz revealing he hasn’t yet decided whose jersey he’ll be pulling over his head this coming season - only that it isn’t going to be one of Pollok’s black-and-white shirts.

Newlandsfield followers’ only sightings of the skillful winger, snapped up from Beith last summer,  came in pre-season friendly match outings against city neighbours Ashfield, Shettleston and St Roch's. Pollok’s withdrawal from the WoSFL shortly afterwards acted as a precursor to several players,  Christie among them, going out on loan to higher league clubs.

He initially joined B.S.C. Glasgow and was an integral part of their Lowland League title-challenging side until tighter Coronavirus restrictions brought the curtain down on fifth-tier football and culminated in Daz moving on to League Two outfit Annan Athletic, for whom he hopes to feature in their final league game of the season (at home to Cowdenbeath) later today.

Annan boss Peter Murphy is allegedly keen on keeping the Barrhead born and bred ace and neither is it any surprise to learn B.S.C. have been hankering for his return on a permanent basis. However, a proverbial spanner was dropped into the works in midweek with the news that the Glasgow outfit’s team boss Stevie Swift had been appointed as the new manager of Stenhousemuir. Now the smart money is on Christie being Ochilview-bound.

The player himself was staying tight-lipped on his intentions last night, and trying to prise even scant details of his future whereabouts proved every bit as futile as defensive attempts to get the ball off him.

He said: “Annan’s season finally comes to a close tomorrow and my thoughts are totally focused on our game and nothing else.

“Hand on heart, I’ve not entered into any contract discussions with other clubs and apart from Pollok gaffer Murdie McKinnon, I’ve not spoken to anyone else about where I go from here.

“He and I were forced to cancel a planned face-to-face meeting at Newlandsfield last week but did have a lengthy phone conversation during which I made it clear my plans did not include going back to Pollok.

“They are a huge club, arguably the biggest in the WoSFL, but playing at higher levels over the past season has definitely left me wanting more of the same while there’s still a bit of life in my legs.”

Irate Lok boss Murdo MacKinnon did not attempt to mask his displeasure over the loan deal arrangement going wrong and vowed to think long and hard about ever going down the same road again.

He blasted: “It’s the brutal nature of loan deals that they are something of  a gamble taken by parent clubs which depend almost solely upon promises being honored on all sides, and you only have to look at Paul Gallagher and Mark Sideserf (Albion Rovers), Del Esplin (Caledonia Braves) and Bryan Wharton and Danny McKenzie (Bo’ness United) for examples of how these matters should be conducted.

“Pollok did B.S.C. and latterly Annan Athletic a massive favour as well as bending over backwards to accommodate Darren’s wishes to keep playing football over the past six months. Yet what we’ve now got back in return is  a disgruntled player stating he does not want to be at Newlandsfield.

”It’s disappointing and I’m not going to pretend otherwise but by the same token, there is no place in our dressing room for people who don’t want to be here and Darren has certainly burnt his boats with both myself and this club. However, I wonder if interested parties out there are aware he is still a Pollok player and under contract until the end of 2022.”

Murdie, who keeps his ears to the ground to keep abreast of transfer speculation, owned up to having previously heard whispers on the grapevine reckoning Daz was on the verge of asking away. The seasoned Lok boss was blunt and straight to the point.

“Word was initially doing the rounds that his mind was set on staying at B.S.C after making a very favourable impression there but neither he nor Swifty ever broached the possibilities with anyone at Pollok even when his subsequent transfer to Annan was being rushed through," he said.

“Rumours of him joining B.S.C. have persisted however the big draw for Daz going to the Lowland League was the prospect of working under Swifty and this week’s developments have put a new perspective on any proposed move.

"So B.S.C. remain in the frame but I wouldn’t be in the least bit surprised if Stenny proved to be his next port of call.”

The Pollok boss was somewhat more reticent in confirming stories he is on  the cusp of securing the signature of 22-year-old centre-back Kyle Bradley, a Rangers debutant back in 2017, who can also counts Lowland League outfit East Kilbride, Annan Athletic and Clyde among his previous clubs since.

And the recent mini-clearout at Darvel which saw the release of eight players, headed up by defensive mainstay Kenny Marshall and comprising of Lance Pearce, Ross Kavanagh, Connor Greene, Andrew Duncan, Liam Caddis, Thomas McGaughey and David Grant has sparked a number of suitors into signing approaches.

Already, former St Johnstone protégé Caddis has put pen to paper for Cumnock (where elder brother Ryan plays) while fellow forward McGaughey is strongly linked with a move back to his former club Arthurlie.