Neilston boss Kevin Muirhead admits staying in the First Division was vital for his recruitment plans ahead of next season.

The Farmer’s Boys will be playing in the second tier of the West of Scotland Football League once again as they rounded off their 2022/23 campaign with a 1-0 win over Shotts Bon Accord on Saturday.

A first half header from Darren Jones was enough for the home side to earn three points and an eighth-place finish.

They ended up eight points clear of the relegation zone, with Muirhead now aiming to reshape his squad to make sure it is competitive after the summer break.

“There will be a lot of changes," said Muirhead, who confirmed that impressive youngster Ross Cabuk is the latest player to make the step up from Neilston's under-20s by signing a first team contract.

"A lot of players who have been here for five or six years will be moving on and there will be a lot of fresh faces coming in.

“There are huge changes going to be taking place and it’s exciting that I can put my own stamp on the squad.

“Staying in the First Division makes it a bit easier to talk to players. If we’re speaking to guys who are in the Premier Division, it’s easier to ask them to drop down one division, rather than two.

“Speaking to guys in the Second Division who have been doing well, we can now offer them a step up, so that helps us massively.

"Things are really positive behind the scenes just now.”

Muirhead is aware of the battle that lies ahead in what is going to be a competitive division next season, with Renfrew, Maybole and Ashfield all earning promotion from the league below and Petershill, Cambuslang Rangers and Kilwinning Rangers relegated from the top flight.

Drumchapel United and Kilbirnie Ladeside will also still be around after missing out on promotion, while Johnstone Burgh have made big moves in the transfer market already by signing the likes of former Scotland midfielder Graham Dorrans.

Muirhead added: “There will be six new teams in the league and the ones coming down are going to be looking to bounce back the same way that Benburb have done this season.

“Johnstone Burgh are living the dream at the moment, so they’re going to be strong as well.

“I know Renfrew really well. Maybole are coming up and I don’t think I’ve ever won there as a player or a manager. Ashfield are a terrific team.

“It’s going to be really competitive and we’re going to need to hit the ground running.”