ONE-TIME Celtic starlet Tony McParland has been tipped to be a huge hit in the Super Premier Division this season.

Irvine Meadow have snapped up the 31-year old midfielder who has been dogged with ill luck ever since his one and only Celtic first-team appearance as a substitute in the Gary Kelly Testimonial against Leeds United in 2002.

He was thought to be on the cusp of a glittering career after representing Scotland from Under-17s through to Under- 21s level.

But Tony was brought crashing back to earth by a cruciate ligament injury that needed eight months of rehabilitation.

He was never to the fore at Celtic Park again and moved on to Barnsley and Wycombe Wanderers before coming back to Scotland for short-lived playing stints with Livingston and Queen of the South before being reinstated into the Junior ranks with Arthurlie.

A successful step up to Queen's Park followed, but Tony has now plumped for

being reunited with former Spiders team-mate Michael Keenan in the Medda midfield.

The Ayrshire club's gaffer Stevie Rankin is delighted with his summer capture.

He said: "Tony's application to our pre-season training has been first class.

"And he continued in similar vein in our first friendly match against Sauchie last weekend when he was the best player on the field.

"He's earned this signing chance and it's exciting to think about what he brings to the team with his close control and dribbling skills."

Yet another Medda trialist to catch the eye in the 1-0 defeat away to Sauchie was ex-Albion Rovers striker Josh Flood.

Elsewhere on the transfer front, Petershill have fixed up highly-regarded Robbie Peebles of Wellhouse Amateurs as well as another attacking midfielder in former Senior ace Tony Stevenson, whose previous claim to fame is from bagging the very first goal scored by Hamilton Accies in the SPL.

Not to be outdone by their top-flight rivals, Kilbirnie Ladeside have strengthened their playing hand by winning the battle to land sought after pair Kieran McAnespie and Stevie Meechan.

One-time St Johnstone and Hearts defender McAnespie was a stand-out playing as a Blasties trialist last weekend while former Motherwell midfield general Meechan has joined from East Region giants Linlithgow Rose, despite having Pollok, Petershill and Irvine Meadow in the running for his signature.

Kilbirnie co-boss Stephen Swift said: "Kieron is an aggressive and dominant defender who also uses his great experience to organise the guys around him at the back. He could be a real diamond for us.

"Stevie's ability to get on the ball and make passes makes him every bit as influential.

"The only disappointing aspect is he is going on holiday so there is no likelihood of us fielding all our new signings together until the Ardagh Glass Cup games are underway."

Kilbirnie are reputedly close to clinching the capture of experienced goalkeeper Chris Fahey on a loan deal arrangement with his current club Stranraer.

Many of the newcomers were on show last night with Flood on target along with Paul

Maxwell as Irvine Meadow won 2-0 away to Rutherglen Glencairn.

Arthurlie striker Gary Smith helped himself to a hat-trick as the Barrhead men ran out 6-0 victors over a youthful Partick Thistle XI. Second-half scores by Marco Andreoni (2), David Winters and Willie Howie saw Pollok recover from falling behind to a David Galt goal to beat Blantyre Vics 4-1.

A Danny Mackay treble was the highlight of Beith's 5-0 hammering of St Anthony's and Clydebank beat Cumbernauld United 4-1.

The biggest shock of the night was Ardeer Thistle's 3-1 win over Auchinleck.

Petershill beat Larkhall 2-1 and Kilbirnie won 6-1 against Renfrew.

THE funeral service for former Benburb boss Tommy Douglas will be held at Craigton Crematorium, Berryknowes Road, Glasgow, on Monday, July 28, at 10.30am.