PLANS for 2024-25 are slotting into place for Ayrshire clubs with the first pre-season friendly games as the countdown continues to the new campaign.

The big kick-off is on Saturday, July 27, and following publication of the SPFL’s fixture list for 2024-25 last week, the WoSFL’s fixtures are widely expected to follow in the next few days.

And with less than a month to go there’s been plenty to report across Ayrshire as new names are added to squads and the summer’s first pre-season friendly fixtures are playe

Beith Juniors’ squad for the new campaign will look very different in several areas to the one which secured a second successive Premier Division title just a few weeks ago.

Danny O’Neill is the latest player to leave the club, following in the footsteps of Aaron Mason, Ciaran Diver, Mikey McWilliams and Kian Burns, though the Mighty confirmed one of the most eye-catching signings of the summer so far last week when they announced that local lad Ricky Little is moving to Bellsdale following his release by Arbroath after 11 years at Gayfield Park.



Chris Strain’s new-look squad will have their first pre-season outing on July 13 when they host Darvel in an ‘unofficial best in the West’ testimonial fixture for long-serving midfielder Paul Frize.

Jason Walker is the latest addition to the Auchinleck Talbot squad for the new campaign; the 21-year-old, who moves from Whitletts Vics, joins Ross Clark, Glen Cameron and Austin Sime in the Beechwood Park ‘arrivals lounge’ ahead of Talbot’s first friendly match, at home to Thornton Hibs this Saturday, July 6.

Former Troon midfielder Scott McLean returns to Portland Park after six years away at Albion Rovers, Queen’s Park, Annan, Spennymoor Town, Stranraer and Glenafton Athletic, and is set to make his second Seasiders debut against Whitletts this Saturday, with further friendlies to follow for Jimmy Kirkwood’s men at home to Kilbirnie Ladeside and Ardrossan Winton Rovers and away to Maybole and Penicuik Athletic.

The pre-season action is already under way for Largs Thistle, who hosted the second annual Pat Rall Memorial Tournament at the weekend, with Stuart Davidson’s side lifting the trophy after two days of action, Will Sewell scoring the winner in a 3-2 victory over Maryhill in Sunday’s final.

Cumnock Juniors’ pre-season schedule gets under way this weekend as Stephen Swift takes his new-look Nock squad to West Lothian to face Linlithgow Rose on July 6, ahead of games against Scoutable United, Irvine Meadow, a St Mirren XI and Winton Rovers before the big kick-off.



Before that, there’s midweek friendly action at Loch Park on Tuesday, July 2, when Glenafton Athletic host Dumbarton in the first of two glamour friendlies, with Partick Thistle also heading for New Cumnock on July 6 as part of the deal that saw Luke McBeth move to Firhill at the turn of the year.

Glens boss Ryan Caddis has been a busy man in the transfer market of late, with midfielders Evan Maley and Ross Lindsay both making the move from Pollok, teenage defender Lewis Currie signing on the dotted line from Queen of the South, and Albanian striker Armand Dollani switching from Cambuslang in the space of the past week, and all four set to appear in the red jersey for the first time at one or both of this week’s friendly matches.

Irvine Meadow’s pre-season preparations for life in the First Division got under way with a 5-1 win away to Eglinton on Saturday, with Greg Cree, Youssef Daiouchy, Euan Baird and a trialist all on target; Ben Carson’s men continue their friendly fixtures in the John Grant Tournament at Johnstone Burgh this weekend, facing the host club on the Saturday and either Glenvale or Maryhill on Sunday.

Jamie McGowan’s penalty was enough to get Kilbirnie Ladeside off to a winning start in their first friendly fixture away to Bonnyton Thistle on Saturday, while Maybole Juniors also started their pre-season programme on a successful note with a 5-1 win away to Stranraer’s reserves.

The Bole’s next friendly is this Saturday, July 6, at home to a Craigmark Burntonians side who have added frontman Mitchell Ewing and ex Girvan skipper Adam Stevenson to their ranks for the new season.

Ewing’s other former clubs include Lugar Boswell Thistle, who provided plenty of entertainment in their first friendly match on Saturday, a 4-4 draw at home to Whitletts.

Ardeer Thistle take on Saltcoats Vics in a Three Towns derby friendly on Tuesday night, while their Third Division rivals Irvine Vics have confirmed the retention of Ross Agnew, Steven Gaffney, Clayton Smith, Fraser MacDuff and Kyro Crawford.

Former East Kilbride Thistle and Bonnyton striker Simon Millar is the first new signing of the summer for Dalry Thistle, while Girvan’s supporters will get their first chance to see what new manager Dean Keenan plans to do with his squad when the Hamilton Park side host Stranraer’s reserves this Saturday.