Craig McEwan reckons St Cadocs’ young guns are helping him overcome a nightmare list of early season departures from the Newton Mearns club.

It would be difficult to believe the seasoned boss had not been rocked to his core last month when six players opted to return to their former club Glenafton, while defensive ace Kieran Wood plumped for Kilwinning Rangers.

Losing almost half a dressing room in one fell swoop has to be an eve of season body blow…and then some…yet the affable Southy has been at pains to make light of this setback and credits the enthusiasm, drive and talent coming through the St Cadocs ranks for his upbeat approach towards the new WoSFL season.

He insisted: “Let me state for the record that there’s been no falling out with the Glens manager Mick McCann or anyone else down at Loch Park over the guys being enticed to move away.

“Almost to a man, they have said a desire to play in the Premier Division top league was behind their decision which I can understand particularly someone like Craig Pettigrew, at his age.

“But truth is they just needed to show a bit more patience and look beyond the next few months because St Cadocs are by far and away one of the most progressive clubs going the rounds and could go on to achieve anything they want in the game."

He added: “Our intention was always to promote from our Under 20’s /Under /21’s but being forced to recruit from their ranks sooner than anticipated has been a godsend in many respects.

“A whole raft of these lads (naming them at this juncture would only pile pressure on their young shoulders) are already looking the part and could well have great futures mapped out in front of them.

”I’ve no doubts other teams will soon be flocking around once word gets out about them but their grounding at St Cadocs from an early age is a good thing for myself and this club.”

Southy explained that there has been a sharp contrast between the publicity garnered by the outgoing players, rather than those sticking around.

He revealed: ” It’s a feather in our cap that Craig Menzies, Chris Dallas, Gunner Moore and Joe Andrew are staying on board at St Cadocs.

“They are trophy winners several times over and the hope is to supplement their great know-how with signings of a similar ilk currently in the pipeline.

“Ross Barbour (Troon) and Richie McKillen (Hurlford United) have made a commitment to join and we are talking to one or two others because getting the right mix of experience and youth is crucial..

“The younger lads bring genuine pace to the team but older heads are needed to control the tempo every bit as much.”

The boss did not reveal whether he lost out to Cumnock for the signature of one time Glenafton and Beith midfielder Jamie Wilson. Meanwhile Petershill boss Martin Lauchlan has caused somewhat of a shock after placing goalkeeper Marc Walters on the transfer list.