Laurie McMaster believes Largs Thistle have the perfect blend of youth and experience to make a flying start to life in the new West of Scotland Premier League. 

Joining Largs in 2016 from his home town side Glentyan Thistle in Kilbarchan, the wing back started as one of the youngest players in the squad before finding himself as one of the oldest last season.
The 25-year-old says Thistle showed a strength of character before the season ended prematurely due to the coronavirus pandemic. 
He highlighted the 1-0 victory over Glenafton in the West of Scotland Cup second round as a standout performance last season.
With Davidson adding experienced signings, including midfielder Keir Milliken and goalkeeper Danny Farrell, McMaster is confident Largs can go from strength to strength in the new senior set-up. 
He said: “We have a new young team with a year under their belts alongside a few more experienced players now, so there is plenty to look forward to this season.
“Fitness is going to be key.
“The Glenafton win was a real backs-to-the-wall performance — I came off the pitch covered in muck! It was an all-action game with goal line clearances, throwing yourself at the ball and last minute tackles. 
“It did speak a lot about the character of the team. Everyone apart from Scott Adam was younger than me that day and it was very fulfilling as it was the first season in the juniors for most of the players.”
McMaster praised manager Davidson for his professional approach, and keeping a level head during the highs and lows of recent seasons.
He said: “Arnie is always very encouraging and quite demanding which is something I quite like.
“He is quite hard to please and doesn’t get too excited if we win or lose — he is always looking for us to improve.
“Arnie is a great manager and is one of the reasons I have never been interested in leaving Thistle.”
With Largs entering the West of Scotland Premier Division this season and going senior, McMaster says he is enjoying the recent return to training, and cannot wait to get back to traditional Saturday football at Barrfields.
The former Raith Rovers youngster said it has taken some time to adjust to the new normal but is glad to be back.
He said: “It is very different — we are still doing our fitness and some of our preparation and running drills. 
“Hopefully we will be one of the fittest teams around and it won’t be too long until full contact training — I am itching to get back!”
McMaster said he is loving life at Barrfields having featured as an ever present in many of the big games over recent seasons.
Highlights in his Thistle career include the 7-1 drubbing at Cumnock, and the 5-0 mauling of Kilwinning in the Scottish Cup quarter-finals in 2019.
He said: “The promotion run in 2018 was memorable as we won our last ten games or so and barely conceded a goal.”
“The manner of the win against Kilwinning was an absolute demolition. We just hammered them.
“We were beaten by them the week before in the league and Kilwinning turned up at Barrfields with a big support, and an air of expectancy. 
“The semi-final victory against Hurlford was good too but the quarter-final against Kilwinning was my personal highlight.”
McMaster has scored seven goals during his 127 games at Thistle and he is hungry for more next season as he hasn’t scored since a 4-0 win in the Scottish Cup over Shotts in 2018.
He admitted: “I am champing at the bit to get on the goal sheet and add to my tally — one goal will do!
“I am an industrial player and do all the dirty work in the side and let the other players grab the limelight and the goals.”