Can Rossvale finish in the top half of what is shaping up as a cutthroat WoSFL Premier Division next season?

And if they do then how would one rate this achievement by the side found occupying ninth place in the table when tightening coronavirus restrictions prematurely brought the curtain down on their 2020/21 campaign?

A poll among bosses might elicit “I wouldn’t bet against it!” and “colossal” as the answers to the questions and therein you get an idea of the scale of what David Gormley has accomplished since his September 2019 assuming of the Bishopbriggs based outfit’s reins (Rossvale finished tenth in his first season at the helm).

A healthy and new found respect for Rossvale has evolved over the past two years thanks in no small part to the Gormz winning demeanor rubbing off on his up and coming charges who nowadays regard playing in the top flight as an opportunity rather than something to be experienced.

And a ready willingness to talk truth to talent has him urging his players to embrace the prospect of competing in a league where having fully seven of the twenty participants doomed to a relegation fate is sure to make every game meaningful.

Gormz said: ”We’ve all played at times when there has been nothing at stake but that’s just not going to happen next season.

“The challenge of picking up points for one reason or another will be unrelenting and every team without exception is going to come under pressure to pick up points even when not playing at their best.

“My guys are no different in this respect and we’ll need to develop the mentality of the Auchinlecks and Polloks in knowing how to win ugly because the three points on offer is the same reward for winning any other way.

“Do that and we will have absolutely nothing to fear!”

Gormley’s preparations for the forthcoming campaign suffered an early setback when a mix of family and work commitments forced popular player/assistant manager Sean Higgins to step down from his dual roles.

However, the Rossvale gaffer has wasted no time in appointing another former team-mate Mick Dunlop (son of the former Scottish Cup winning Renfrew manager of the same name) as the former Ross County, Dundee and Clyde striker’s replacement.

And dugout ally Higgins is not the only close season departure from Rossvale as Conor Bradley and last season’s top marksman Lee Roulston have been recalled from loan spells by parent club Arthurlie on top of veteran defender Peter Bradley calling time on his playing career and Gartcairn luring away Paul Brennan and Anton McDowall.

Talks between the ambitious Vale gaffer and a raft of signing targets have reputedly been underway for several weeks and he is thought to be on the verge of fixing up twin front men Hugh Kerr (Lanark United) and Ross McKenzie (Maryhill), as well as midfield trio Dan Kindlan (St Rochs), Ross Kavanagh (Darvel) and Jamie Hay (Arthurlie) Another potential recruit is full back Euan Rodger who joined on loan from Queens Park last season while unconfirmed reports have Gormley showing more than passing interest in defender Lance Pearce, recently released by Darvel.

He revealed: “We’ve experienced a fair number of comings and goings of late but that’s to be expected at this pre-season stage and we’re hoping to get all our transfer business done before full contact training starts.

“It’s pleasing to have new faces coming on board because their freshness and desire to lay down markers is infectious and has everyone looking forward to the season kicking off.”

Meanwhile, hearing the previously mooted proposal for the WoSFL’s Premier Division to split into two groups of ten is back on the table because of concerns over the likelihood of a coronavirus spike impacting on the 2021/22 season.

Nothing has been decided but discussions are thought to have taken place on a definitive two-phase campaign.

Phase One: The respective groupings of 10 teams will play each other on a home and away basis Phase Two: (If Covid remains dormant) teams will go up against the teams, home and away, from the other grouping.