Beith boss Bryan Young has made a significant summer tweak to his playing squad by finally completing the signing of striker Jay Mackay on a two-year deal from Rutherglen Glencairn.

The arrival of the 31-year-old, following protracted transfer negotiations and in the face of signing interest from at least two other Premier Division clubs, has to be regarded as a real coup for Youngy, who is thought to have designs on making further additions to his dressing room over the coming weeks.

More than a hint of relief at getting a deal over the line was clearly apparent when Bellsdale's gaffer put it succinctly.

"I'm absolutely delighted to get the deal for Jay done and look forward to seeing him in action and linking up with the other forward players in our squad," he said. "I've been impressed with his attitude and his desire to come to the club."

Butch’s ecstatic mood was mirrored by front man newcomer Mackay, now on board at the fifth club in his playing career, having previously turned out with St Anthony's, Bellshill Athletic and Rossvale.

Jay revealed how Glens boss Willie Harvey’s reluctance to let him go was proving a major sticking point to any transfer taking place until he made it clear his heart was set on moving to the Ayrshire outfit.

He explained: “Beith’s team captain Paul Frize and I have been best mates ever since we played together as boys for Harmony Row and just about every close season without fail, he has tried to get me to join him down at Bellsdale.

“I’ve always turned him down until now and that’s because for some time now part of me has been hankering for a fresh challenge after spending five years at Glencairn where I’ve been treated exceptionally well and enjoyed great times.

“This was no spur-of-the-moment decision and although walking away was by far and away the toughest call I’ve ever had to make, it really was a case of now or never because this is hopefully the last move I’ll ever be involved in as a player.”

Mighty supporters will be keen to get a first sighting of their new striker when Beith host the visit of fellow Ayrshiremen Lugar Boswell in a pre-season friendly match later today (kick-off 2pm).

Jay added: “Transfer talks between the clubs have been ongoing for a number of weeks, which had the downside that I was not permitted to train alongside the Beith players until all the paperwork formalities were done and dusted.

“That only happened last Monday so I’ve been getting to know all the guys at training this week and I’m raring to go - if selected, of course.”

Among a greater sprinkling of WoSFL clubs taking the opportunity to get some long-awaited game time are Arhurlie, heading to BrigO’Lea for what promises to be a competitive opener with neighbourly rivals Neilston, while Johnstone Burgh’s latest tilt against top-flight opposition sees Jamie McKim’s side taking on Auchinleck Talbot at Keanie Park.

Yet another round of Springburn Festival of Football matches gets underway with a 10am meeting of Rob Roy and Maryhill which precedes Ashfield v St Anthony's (12 noon) and St Roch's v Rossvale (2pm).

Down in Ayrshire, the later 3pm kick-off time has Cumnock fans belatedly getting a first glimpse of their side in action that was denied them when last Saturday’s home game against Lanark United was postponed on account of an alleged mini-Covid outbreak in the visiting camp.

Tony McInally’s men are lining up against St Cadoc's and he will rely heavily on youth to fill the gaps left by the recent exits of experienced quartet Ryan Caddis, Kyle Faulds, Ally Semple and Paul Burns.

Macca, reputed to have lost out on an approach this week to land East Fife front man Thomas Collins (now at Kilwinning Rangers), said: “It’s time for young Owen Bell, who was out on loan to Annan Athletic last season, and Jamie Conn, back with us after a loan spell at Beith, to show what they can do. The same applies to Liam Douglas, signed from Queen of the South.

“Liam is a bit of a utility type, able to play in a number of positions and that versatility will be used to good effect to patch and make do while we look to get a few more new faces through the door.

“Several signings are in the pipeline to go along with our captures of Hurlford United pair Jamie Wilson and Callum Veitch but it’s taking time and no little patience to conclude matters to our liking.”

Elsewhere on the comings and goings front, Blantyre Vics have secured the signature of East Stirling midfielder Ronan Kearney, who was previously with Petershill, while Irvine Vics have been left in a state of flux in the wake of team boss Brian McLuckie and assistant Mark McCann tendering their resignations in the aftermath of their side’s 2-0 midweek defeat by Maryhill, for whom Jay McInally and Jack Easdon were on target.

PLAYING TODAY (Kick-off 2pm unless stated)

Johnstone Burgh v Auchinleck Talbot, Rob Roy v Maryhill (Springburn Park, 10am), Ashfield v St Anthony's (12 noon), Yoker Athletic v Glenvale (12 noon), Glenafton v Kello Rovers (1pm), Beith v Lugar Boswell, Vale of Leven v Greenock, Sauchie v Darvel, Largs Thistle v Ardrossan Winton Rovers, Clydebank v Clydebank U20’s, Kilsyth Rangers v Dunipace, Bellshill Athletic v  Lesmahagow, Carluke Rovers v Forth Wanderers, Neilston v Arthurlie, St Roch's v Rossvale (Springburn Park), Newmains Utd v Royal Albert, Larkhall Thistle v Tannochside Utd, Kilbirnie Ladeside v Renfrew, Cumnock v St Cadoc's.