JOHNSTONE Burgh boss Jamie McKim admits seeing familiar faces leave the club has been difficult as he reshapes his squad ahead of the 2022/23 season.

Sam Esplin, Stuart Collins and Nathan Marriott have all moved on but McKim insists no-one has left on bad terms.

He told Gazette Sport: “Nobody has left under a cloud and we have a great relationship with them all.

“We’re sitting at one side of the table looking to do what is best for the club but you also need to look after the players because we might need them again at some point and you want them to be able to work with you and to know you’ve been honest.

“You see the players three times a week, so the reality is you do become very close with them and to see them walk out the door is very difficult.”

Esplin is moving to Dubai to live with his partner, whilst Collins and Marriott have left Burgh after McKim was unable to guarantee they would play every week.

“I think we need to be a bit stronger in terms of competition in the goalkeeping department and that’s not something that Stuart relishes,” said McKim.

“We have a lot of time for him and respect what he’s done for us but he’s probably made the right decision in terms of what is right for him.

“We had a chat with Nathan and he wasn’t happy he was used as a squad player last year, so he took the decision to move on and try to get himself a team where he will be a key player – and he deserves that.

“We ran 84 training sessions last year and Nathan was at 83 of them and that’s what you want from every single player.”