Jamie McKim has admitted he is desperate to get Johnstone Burgh’s final game of the season out of the way as he gets set to prepare for a big pre-season.

Burgh, who were unfortunate to run out 1-0 losers at home to Lesmahagow at the weekend, will round off their campaign this Saturday away to Carluke with the gaffer already looking ahead to next season.

“The Lesmahagow loss was very tight,” McKim told Gazette Sport. “They were the better team in the first-half to be honest but we were the better team in the second and were unlucky to lose the game in the end. 

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“Away from that, I’m just really looking forward to getting this Saturday against Carluke out of the way now and getting the chance to build for next season with a really good pre-season behind us.

“I’ve never hidden the fact that I had high hopes for this season,but it just didn’t work out. I’ve learned a lot from my first full season, though. The amount of knowledge I’ll take into next season is something I’m really looking forward to.

“Everyone that follows Burgh should be really looking forward to next season - I just hope more people come and support us and back us. 

“The club is getting stronger and it’s becoming more professional on all levels. People don’t tend to see it but there’s a lot of stuff going on in the background.

“We’ve made Burgh an attractive place for players to come now. There was a lot of potential when I arrived here but we’ve worked hard to make it more attractive. I could see why some players didn’t sign for us back when I first arrived but everything from the home dressing room to the equipment and training kit we use has improved. That’s an essential part of attracting young players these days.

The Gazette: McKim along with his skipper Niall Herron McKim along with his skipper Niall Herron

“The training equipment and the sessions we’re laying on make this a good place to be and we’re still improving. We will make a lot of big steps over the summer too. I was never going to be able to implement everything I wanted in one season here so this pre-season is an important time for us and hopefully we’ll see that pay off on the pitch next season.”

Elsewhere, McKim has revealed he is attempting to establish a firm link between the first team and the club’s U21 set-up after opening up a positive dialogue with 21s boss Craig Donohoe.

The connection between the starting XI and the under 21s was almost non-existent for a good few years with McKim insisting that must change in order for the club to progress.

He added: “Establishing a good link between ourselves and the under 21s is something I’ve been desperate to see happen ever since I arrived at Burgh. Craig is really keen to help us which is ideal and would bring us a lot closer together. 

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“For whatever reason the link hasn’t been great over the years but I’d be delighted if we could work to sort that out now.

“Ruaridh Clark is a trialist from our own under 21s and came on at half-time on Saturday. It was nice to see them helping us at the weekend. Ruaridh was actually the first player to come up from the 21s this season so I’m hoping to build on that.”