JOHNSTONE Burgh boss Jamie McKim has revealed he had to shake off Premier League interest for some of his key players this summer.

McKim is delighted to have the majority of last season’s title-winning squad signed up on new contracts as the Keanie Park club gears up for life in the new West of Scotland Football League.

Having secured the League Two crown in a 2019/20 campaign that was brought to a premature end by the coronavirus outbreak, Burgh have now secured the signatures of 20 members of that squad.

And McKim is convinced those players have made the right decision by agreeing to stay on at Keanie Park and continue their development.

He told Gazette Sport: “It wasn’t easy to get them all back on board.

“There was massive interest in some of them but they do trust us and know we’re going to do the best for each individual.

“For most individuals, the best thing for them is another year at least here and getting some more experience.

“We’ve got a really young side and there are a lot of players who have a massive future in the game but, for a lot of them, another full season here and a year of experience will do them the world of good.”

McKim added that getting last season’s squad signed up for another year at the club is vital as he praised the attitude of his players who made the 2019/20 campaign such a success.

He continued: “The squad that I’ve got at the moment and the squad we worked with last year have an unbelievable mentality.

“Towards the training sessions and the games, I’ve never worked with a squad of players who are so keen to do well and willing to sacrifice so much.

“They all pushed each other on and nobody had meltdowns about not playing or not being in the squad. Everyone was in it together and I think that was the reason for our success.”

The club have also recently added a new Under-20 side, with McKim excited about the prospect of more youngsters pushing to earn their place in his first team squad.

He said: “I want every player that’s in that squad to have an opportunity to come and play for the first team in the coming years.”

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