Linlithgow Rose has bolstered its squad for the forthcoming Super League campaign by signing last season’s East Region leading goalscorer Kevin Kelbie.
Striker Kelbie scored 39 goals for Camelon last season and also won The Sun’s Golden Boot award for scoring the most goals in the Scottish Junior Cup tournament.
Rose boss Danny Smith has also snapped up midfielder Blair Batchelor from his former club.
With other signings including Gary Thom, from East Fife, and Francis Kelly, from Kilsyth Rangers, it brings the current Prestonfield squad to 19 players.
But the Rose boss added he is still on the hunt for a possible two to three players before the new season begins in earnest.
On the signing of Kelbie, Smith said: ‘‘I had a great relationship with Kevin during my time at Camelon and it was always my intention to bring him to the club despite a number of bids from other clubs.
‘‘The addition of Kevin will bring a new dimension to our strike force and bring added competition to those players already at the club. For the likes of Kevin, Tommy (Coyne), Colin (Strickland) and Calum (Smith), each and everyone will now be fighting for the place come the start of the season.’’
On assembling a squad which will compete not only in the Super League, the Scottish Junior Cup but also the Scottish Cup (senior), Smith said: ‘‘I want to do what is best for the club and if that means creating competition for places, then that is what is needed!
‘‘As only 16 players can strip for a match each week, I will be looking to the players to get their heads down and do their utmost to get in that squad each week. The increased competition can only benefit the club.’’
Looking ahead to the new season the Rose boss said: ‘‘While the league and Junior Cup are our main goals, with the club now having SFA accreditation, we also automatically qualify for the first round of the Scottish Cup.
‘‘I was part of the squad that reached the fourth round against Queen of the South in 2008. I would love to see the club reach that level again this season.’’
This means the Rose, Banks o’ Dee, who also have SFA accreditation, Super League winners Bo’ness, Culter and Auchinleck Talbot and Scottish Cup winners Hurlford will compete in the Scottish Cup.
Over at Newtown Park, Bo’ness United manager Allan McGonigal has strengthened his defensive back four with the signing of Colin Leiper of Camelon Juniors. Leiper, a left centre-back, is also a Scottish junior internationalist.