Jamie McKim admits he has been left with a selection headache ahead of Johnstone Burgh’s Sectional League Cup campaign kicking-off this weekend against Arthurlie.

Burgh’s annual bonding day away to East Region North side Lochore Welfare on Saturday ended in 3-2 defeat and, after seeing off League One side Maryhill 4-1 last night at Keanie Park, McKim admitted he doesn’t quite know his best starting XI yet.

With a trip to Dunterlie Park this weekend to take on West Region Championship side Arthurlie, the gaffer revealed has yet to cement the best Burgh starting XI for their first competitive match of the 2019/20 season.

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McKim said: “While Lochore was just a pre-season friendly and while we never want to get beat, what that match did do was give me something to think about. 

“At this moment in time, I don’t know my absolute best XI. I’m getting closer and these friendlies really assist with that. Some boys are definitely playing their way into it and others are letting themselves down a bit - matches like Saturday’s help me in noticing this.

“Defensively, we want to improve and tighten up a bit after conceding three goals at the weekend.

“And I’ve said this before but we need to develop a ruthless streak. We are creating the chances but we’re not taking them. I want to score as much as possible and kill off teams this season. It’s not being disrespectful but I want to kill teams off.”

Elsewhere, McKim revealed he has been left delighted with the standard of his new recruits throughout his side’s pre-season, while singling out Gordon Meredith and Kieran Brady for special recognition.

The Gazette: McKim has been impressed with new arrival Gordon Meredith's dominant displays in midfieldMcKim has been impressed with new arrival Gordon Meredith's dominant displays in midfield

He added: “Don’t get me wrong, there has been a really good level across the board with the new boys but I would have to say that Kieran and Gordon have been the standouts.

“Kieran has been outstanding to be honest. He’s a big dominant force and really steadies our defence.

“Gordon is superb in the middle of the park. He links the play so well for us. You wouldn’t know it from looking at him and his stature, but he absolutely dominates games in the midfield. It’s hard to believe how good his impact has been. 

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“I had been chasing him for a couple of years and had watched him play with Alba Thistle so I knew he had talent, but he has really stepped it up since he came here. His displays so far have surpassed my expectations.

“What I will say, though, is it’s still just pre-season. It’s important for him and the rest of the team to go into Saturday’s match against Arthurlie and continue their form.”

And while the gaffer is hopeful of going on another good cup run after topping their Sectional League group last season, he acknowledges that Burgh are most definitely underdogs in their section.

He added: “Arthurlie, Neilston and Benburb are favourites against us, but we don’t fear anyone to be honest. We’ll be going out there to try our best with no fear.”

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