Neilston are hurtling full speed ahead as they prepare to get back to business on the pitch next month.

Despite the current West of Scotland League lockdown, the Farmer’s Boys have sealed the signing of former Renfrew and Irvine Vics striker Darren Jones as they look to strengthen their frontline.

With current loanee Adam Forde set to return to parent club Pollok at the end of the season, the Brig O’Lea side are delighted to have clinched Jones on an 18-month contract.

Co-manager Chris Cameron said: “I played and coached Darren at Renfrew and we tried to sign him last summer before he moved to Beith.

“We’re delighted to finally get him on board as he’s a brilliant striker and a little different to the ones we already have here.

“He’s really quick and clever at getting in behind defences like our other forwards, but he’s also very good in the air. He’ll give us a bit more of a physical presence up front.

“He’ll give us a really good option and experience having played in the top division for a number of years, and it’s a great bit of business for us getting him on an 18-month deal.

“With Adam set to go back to Pollok next season, we’d have been scrambling to find a good replacement in the summer but with Jones coming in we’ve managed to do that already.”

Neilston are praying they can get back to action in Conference B at the start of February, when the initial three-week break is set to end.

Cameron revealed the club have received messages from the West of Scotland League which give him hope they will be able to get back playing next month.

He believes that would give them a great chance of getting the season played to a conclusion.

Cameron said: “We’ve had an update from the West of Scotland which was pretty positive. They’re still hopeful we can start training again after January 31 and hopefully be back playing soon after that.

“We were also told we have to stay squeaky clean until then, obviously not training in groups or anything until we get the green light.

“But it seems every club now at our level is desperate to get back to playing so the appetite is definitely there.

“We’re not going as far as telling the boys to post their 5K times every Tuesday and Thursday, but we’re keeping in touch and I’m sure they’re staying as fit and healthy as they can so we’re ready to get straight back to it.

“They’ll be a bit rusty when we’re back, we can’t help that, but it’ll be the same for everyone.

“If we start back in the middle or the end of February then I’m confident we could get the season finished.

“We’ve got 16 games left and if we started playing midweeks in April and May then I’m sure we could still get it done.”

Neilston’s first game back could be a Renfrewshire derby clash with Johnstone Burgh, which was the first game to be postponed during the current lockdown.

That could see the Farmer’s Boys face former striker Paul Stewart, who linked up with the Keanie Park side last week.

Cameron added: “Tiny was a great player for us over the last four seasons and I’m delighted to see him back in football again. He was struggling to make training and games for us due to work commitments, and then he had a wee baby come along which made football even harder to fit in for him.

“I hope he has a nightmare against us when we play him right enough!

“But we seriously do wish him all the best.”