Rookie boss Mick McCann insists he's relishing the job of rebuilding Glenafton Athletic.

The 39-year-old inherited an empty dressing room when the took the reins at Loch Park in February.

Glens' decision to sit out last season and release all their players meant McCann had to assemble a squad from scratch.

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It's a challenge many an experienced manager would baulk at, especially given the unprecedented success the club enjoyed under pre-decessor Craig McEwan.

But former Glens striker McCann has set about the task with gusto, using his contacts to bring in a blend of experienced pros and promising starlets.

Established non-league stars - striker Sean McIlory, formerly of Auchinleck Talbot and Beith, ex-Hurlford and Kilmarnock defender Ross Fisher and former Darvel frontman Jordan Ryan - are among a clutch of new faces that catch the eye.

Sean McIlroy, right
Sean McIlroy, right

McCann also looks set to give youth a chance with the signings of Scott Sherrie and Darren Curtis from Lugar Boswell, former Killie kid David Blyth and goalkeepers Scott Johnson and Daniel Sloan.

But he's also gone down the tried and trusted route, sealing returns to Loch Park for Craig Pettigrew, Ryan McChesney, Leon Murphy, Cammy Marlow, Alan Cairns, Dean Hawkshaw and Iain McKnight.

"I know the league pretty well and getting the blend right is a big thing," said McCann, a treble winner with Glens back in seasons 2016/17.

"I'm excited by the challenge to be honest. I might not have managerial experience but there's absolutely no fear there.

Ross Fisher
Ross Fisher

"Yes, there's pressure - and rightly so because Glenafton are a big club with big expectations.

"But most of that pressure comes from within myself. I was always up there challenging as a player - I don't know anything else.

"It's been pretty hectic from the word go but I'm very happy with the way things have been going.

"We've aimed for a good mix of youth and experience and tried to bring in players who fit a certain profile.

"We are trying to create a good culture in the dressing room and bring in experienced guys who will set a good example to the younger players.

"Hopefully, they will see pretty quickly what is required.

Jordan Ryan
Jordan Ryan

"The league this year is going to very tough with seven teams going down so that's where having experience in the team will help.

"Fitness is very important though and the youth will compliment that experience.

"Once the dust settles I'm confident we will be fine."

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