Largs Thistle - back in the elite of junior football
Get along to Barrfields this season and support Largs Thistle who are back in the elite of junior football.
With an exciting team led by experienced manager Sandy MacLean at the helm, the club are moving forward, and the future is bright after an amazing finish to last season.
One of the abiding memories of Thistle's rise back to the Premiership is the titanic clash with Ashfield to win one of the most dramatic encounters ever played at Barrfields during its 83 year history.
And while keeper Stephen Connick has said goodbye on Sunday after an emotional testimonial against Morton, the Largs and Millport Weekly News are offering a DVD compilation of last season's highlights including the Ayrshire Cup victory, produced by Thistle committee man and video editor Paul Laing. We have two DVDs up for grabs, signed by 'Supersonic' Stephen Connick himself, for the ultimate memento of a spectacular finale to last season.
To be in with a chance, just answer the following question. Who were the opponents when Largs Thistle won the Ayrshire Weekly Press Cup final last season? Answers can sent to 'Supersonic' competition, Largs and Millport Weekly News, Dock Road, Ardrossan, KA22 8DA or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject title 'Supersonic'. DVDs costing £7 are available via email from email@example.com or go to Don's canteen during match days.
Largs boss Sandy MacLean is looking forward to the Premier challenge. Speaking to the 'News', Sandy said: "We were promoted after winning third spot in the league, and then winning the play-off, so the logical argument is that we are seen by others as favourites to come straight back down again. However, we don't see it that way. I want Largs to be an established Super Premier team and to be that, we can't just survive; it's got to be about more than survival. We are aiming to compete with the top teams - the Petershill, Pollok and Talbots. We know it isn't going to be easy - but we don't want to just stay up and say that is a success.
"From the word go - we are very well versed in the teams that we are going to play, and we have already overcome some of them last season so there is no fear in the players.
"We have some new players this season in the likes of Willie Boyd who is an old fashioned kind of full-back who likes to get forward and deliver crosses, and then we have the return of James Marks who loves to work centre-halves in the box, and he has the strength to make it uncomfortable for defences. He also has mobility which is the key for this year as the more mobile we are, the better the style we have to try and install our passing game with purpose, and recover the ball when we lose it. Auchinleck Talbot are, undoubtedly, the benchmark in the league, while I love to watch Petershill play, and Pollok have just spent a huge amount of money, and Rob Roy have been throwing money around like it has been going out of fashion, so it is more difficult than ever before to establish who is the weakest link."
And there are also a number of star local players in the ranks including solid defender Creag Little, reliable keeper Grant Weir and last year's supporters' player of the year Ian Fisher. Forward Euan Lindsay has also been an excellent servant since signing two seasons ago. Last year's top scorer Andy Monaghan, held off a late challenge from exciting talent Nicky Little, to win the top goalscorer award.
Before the Premiership starts, Thistle kick off the season in the Ardagh Cup away to Dalry on Monday August 5 at 6.45pm at Merksworth Park. followed by a home encounter against Winton Rovers next Wednesday at Barrfields Park. Thistle's first encounter in the Stagecoach Premier Division is at home to Rob Roy on Saturday August 17.