NEILSTON co-manager Martin Campbell insists his side will be better placed to challenge for promotion next season.

Campbell and John Paul Dow took over at Brig O’Lea just days before season was due to start last year after previous boss Robert Graham shocked the club by announcing his departure.

The former Greenock Juniors management duo were forced to rush into signings to get a squad together in time for the season starting.

The state of flux didn’t really halt for Neilston with players coming and going throughout the season.

But after a good end to the campaign, a seventh place finish in the Central District First Division and a more settled squad, Campbell is confident his side will be well prepared for a crack at the promotion places next season with 14 players already signed a month before pre-season begins.

He said: “We’ve got 14 signed, which is pretty good considering we came in four days before pre-season started last season and had no-one signed.

“We’ve been working hard over the last month or so to make sure we were in a better position this time.

“It was a very up and down season. When we came in we were looking to go for promotion. But we had a few dips in the season and there was a lot of changes in the squad.

“But I think to finish where we did, we have to be pretty pleased taking everything into account.

“We’re definitely going to be better placed to challenge next season with the signings we’ve made and the way we played at times in the second half of the season.”

Attacker Martin Curren has been a standout at Brig O’Lea since his move from Arthurlie.

Campbell admitted that if his form keeps up, bigger clubs will soon be sniffing around the youngster, but his manager is delighted to have him tied down to Neilston for next season.

He said: “Martin Curren has been exceptional. I said to him last week that if he keeps doing what he is doing he won’t be with us for long.

“He’s been fantastic. We’ve played him wide left, wide right and up front through the middle and he was excellent there as well.

“He’s came in for a couple of months and ended up second top scorer with seven goals.”