JOHNSTONE Burgh boss Jamie McKim has revealed preparations for next season’s promotion push are well underway with three new signings already confirmed. 

Burgh welcomed Ardeer Thistle to Keanie Park at the weekend for a friendly to raise funds after Thistle’s hospitality suite was destroyed in a fire and while the day was a success with £275 raised, McKim’s focus was on the match itself which provided the perfect opportunity to give a number of trialists a run out before signing three.

McKim opted to have six trialists in his starting XI with a further four coming off the bench with youngsters Mark Garner and Kieran Brady both getting on the scoresheet as Burgh ran out 3-0 winners.

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Garner and Brady’s efforts were enough to earn a contract for next season with fellow Renfrew U21 player Jamie Sidebotham also handed a deal.

McKim said: “We were looking into ways to make sure we could give our trialists a game on Saturday. Ricky Cantwell came up with the idea of the fundraiser and it worked out brilliant for both ourselves and Ardeer.

“We had six trialists starting with four coming off the bench. It is a lot of trialists to be fair but needs must as we are right in the process of building for next season now.

“A lot of these guys are coming in from top under 21 teams. We will be bringing in some more established junior players too, but we are unable to have a look at them at the moment due to their registrations.

“We’ve signed three of the trialists from the weekend now with the paperwork all confirmed.

“Kieran is a centre-half who I managed at Glenvale, so I know exactly what he’s capable of. He’s actually a player I tried to get when I first started at Burgh. He’s a big aggressive defender who can play with both feet.

“Jamie can play in both midfield and as a centre-half. He’s a big imposing boy who could be a really big player for us next season.”

Burgh are back in West League Two action tonight as they host St Anthony’s at Keanie Park with the gaffer admitting he will once again tinker with the formation and squad.

He added: “First of all, I want to win the game but at the same time I’m going try and use it as a chance to give some more boys a chance.

“We’ve got three games left now so it’s a good time of the season to build towards the future.

“The way I’m looking at it, bringing in some younger players and giving them the chance to get some junior level experience under their belts will put them ahead in their development for next season. 

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“When you bring in young players, they tend to spend the first three or four games getting used to the level so it’s good to be able to give them that game time now ahead of a big pre-season.

“One thing I will say is that I’m being very careful with the players I’m bringing in. I need to make sure I’m signing players with the right attitude because I’m looking to create a positive culture around Keanie Park again. I want to get rid of the negativity that’s been surrounding the club for a while now.”

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