FANS, players and officials are counting down the minutes until the fixtures for the new West of Scotland Football League season are revealed later this week.

But while they wait, there’s been no shortage of news to report both on and off the pitch as the countdown continues to the big kick-off at the end of this month.

The full WoSFL fixture list is due to be published at 6pm this Wednesday, July 10, just two and a half weeks before the opening round of competitive matches.

And with the clock ticking down to the big day, managers’ phones across Ayrshire are red hot as they continue to assemble the squads they hope will challenge for honours over the coming season.

Defending Premier Division champions Beith Juniors have announced the addition of four new faces to their reshaped squad in the past week, including two who previously played for boss Chris Strain when he was manager at Kilwinning Rangers.



Ben Lewis, who played more than 500 times for the Buffs in the course of 16 seasons, and midfielder Ben Lewis are joined in the arrivals lounge at Bellsdale by former Benburb midfielder Lewis Lovering and ex Irvine Meadow man Conor O’Donnell.

Fans of the Mighty will get their chance to see the new boys in action for the first time this Saturday, July 13, when Beith host the new Junior Cup holders Darvel in Paul Frize’s testimonial.

Auchinleck Talbot, who have confirmed the transfer of midfielder Ross Urquhart to Premier Division rivals Benburb, got their pre-season friendly programme under way at the weekend with a 5-0 win over East of Scotland First Division side Thornton Hibs at Beechwood – the first of six friendly matches between now and the first league game, with Kilwinning Rangers at Buffs Park this Wednesday (July 10) the next game on Tommy Sloan’s fixture list.

Auchinleck Talbot beat Thornton Hibs 5-0 in their first pre-season friendly.Auchinleck Talbot beat Thornton Hibs 5-0 in their first pre-season friendly. (Image: Craig McGhee)

Former Troon defender Mark Morrison has returned to Portland Park on a permanent basis 12 months after moving up to the Lowland League with East Kilbride; the full back was missing from the squad for Saturday’s 1-0 friendly loss at home to Whitletts, but could make his debut against Kilbirnie Ladeside this Wednesday.

Glenafton Athletic welcomed former player Luke McBeth back to Loch Park on Saturday for a friendly against Partick Thistle, arranged as part of the deal that took the 24-year-old to Firhill on New Year’s Day; the match itself ended in a 4-2 defeat for Glens, though boss Ryan Caddis will have been delighted at seeing his players test themselves against Championship opposition, hot on the heels of their game against Dumbarton, managed by former Glens player Stevie Farrell, last Tuesday.

Cumnock Juniors’ new boss Stephen Swift has added two more impressive signings to his Townhead Park squad in the form of winger Stefan McCluskey, who moves to East Ayrshire from Kelty Hearts, and attacking midfielder Joe McKee, who makes the move from Peterhead; McKee was included in the squad for Saturday’s friendly at Linlithgow Rose, when Josh Jack and Dylan Dykes were Nock’s scorers in the 2-2 draw.

Stephen Swift runs the rule over his Cumnock Juniors squad during Saturday's 2-2 draw away to Linlithgow Rose.Stephen Swift runs the rule over his Cumnock Juniors squad during Saturday's 2-2 draw away to Linlithgow Rose. (Image: Cumnock Juniors FC)

David Ramsay and Blair Devine were the scorers as Largs Thistle made it three friendly wins from three with a 2-1 victory at home to Lowland League Broomhill, while Irvine Meadow got some more valuable minutes on the clock at Johnstone Burgh’s John Grant Tournament at the weekend, though results didn’t go the way boss Ben Carson would have wanted, with defeat on penalties to the host club on Saturday followed by a 5-1 loss to Glenvale in Sunday’s third and fourth place play-off.

New Kilwinning Rangers boss Kevin Kelly may have kept his powder dry in terms of squad changes in his first couple of weeks in the job, but that has all changed in the last few days with the arrival of three new faces at Buffs Park.

Goalkeeper Matuesz Miller joins on a season-long loan from St Cadoc’s, having spent 2023-24 on loan at second tier rivals Rutherglen Glencairn, while midfielder Conor McLaughlin makes the switch from Caledonian Locomotives, where he played under Kelly last season.

Defender Jamie Ballantyne is the third new addition to Kelly’s squad; the 26-year-old makes the move from Auchinleck Talbot, though he spent last season on loan at Kilbirnie Ladeside.

And Blasties fans also have plenty to be excited about in spite of Ballantyne’s departure, with boss Colin Spence confirming three new signings of his own following Saturday’s 3-2 friendly win at home to Lugar.

The new additions at Valefield Park are former Largs Thistle and Morton defender John Tennant, ex Craigmark and Winton midfielder Steven Tan, and centre-half Greg Ferry, who won the Junior Cup with Cumnock in 2023 before being released from Townhead Park at the end of last season; Sam McCloy has also signed up for another season in the black and yellow.

Staying in North Ayrshire, Ardeer Thistle could hardly have wished for a better start to their pre-season programme after Sean Kenney's side chalked up convincing wins on the road - 4-0 away to Saltcoats Vics last Tuesday and then 5-0 against BSC Glasgow on Saturday.

And Eglinton Thistle got among the goals against amateur opposition on the same day, with Marc Walker, Liam Davis and a trialist all scoring twice and Sam Duncan also finding the net in a 7-4 win away to East Kilbride YM.

Friendly fixtures for Ayrshire’s clubs over the next few days are as follows.

Wednesday, July 10: Beith v St Roch’s, Cumnock v Scoutable United (7.45pm), Hurlford v Irvine Meadow, Kilwinning v Auchinleck Talbot (7.30pm), Bonnyton Thistle v Glenafton (7.45pm), Largs Thistle v Greenock (7pm), Thorn Athletic v Muirkirk (7.15pm), Troon v Kilbirnie Ladeside (7.30pm).

Saturday, July 13: Beith v Darvel (2pm), Ashfield v Dalry Thistle (2.30pm), Auchinleck Talbot v Tranent (2pm), Bonnyton Thistle v St Peter’s (2pm), Glenafton v Cambuslang (1pm), Irvine Meadow v Cumnock (2pm), Irvine Victoria v Stranraer (SOS) (2pm), Kilbirnie Ladeside v Largs Thistle (2pm), Lugar v Whitletts Amateurs (2pm), Maybole v Whitletts Vics (2pm), Muirkirk v Abbey Vale (2pm), Neilston v Hurlford (2pm), Saltcoats Vics v Glenvale (2pm), St Cadoc’s v Kilwinning Rangers (2pm), Troon v Ardrossan Winton Rovers (2pm).