NEILSTON co-manager Chris Cameron reckons securing the signature of Darren Jones is a reward for persistence...after tracking the former Renfrew hitman for more than two years.

Cameron revealed he had been keen to snap up Jones ever since he took on his managerial role at the Brig O’Lea, alongside co-boss Derek Carson, back in 2018.

That long pursuit came to a successful conclusion last month when Jones signed an 18-month deal with the Farmer’s Boys after leaving Premiership outfit Beith.

And the Neilston management team know exactly what to expect from the new arrival.

Cameron told Barrhead Sport: “We tried to sign Darren when we got the job here, having worked with him at Renfrew previously.

“I tried to sign him again in the summer but he got a great offer from Beith that we couldn’t compete with.”

Jones will boost a Neilston forward line that has already looked potent this season, with loan star Adam Forde among those who have been in fine form.

Forde will return to parent club Pollok when his loan deal expires at the end of the campaign, which is another reason why Cameron is delighted to have secured Jones on an 18-month contract.

“It’s with a view to this season, to strengthen our forward line, but we also have next season in mind, when Adam goes back to Pollok,” said Cameron.

“We would have been looking to bring someone else in and Darren fits the bill, so we’re delighted to get him on board.”

Cameron admits it is unusual for Neilston to offer a deal that is longer than a year but insists it was worth pushing the boat out to capture Jones.

He added: “It’s not something we usually do but I know Darren and his attitude. He never misses training, is totally committed to football at this level and is a good lad, so it’s not a risk.

“This is good business for the club.”

Neilston have been given details of the fixtures they will play once the current suspension of the West of Scotland Football League – imposed as a result of the Covid pandemic – has been lifted, with matches against Forth Wanderers, Vale of Leven and Port Glasgow in the pipeline.

And Cameron is targeting maximum points as he aims to maintain his team’s perfect start to the season.

He added: “These are games we need to win as we look to keep our unbeaten run going.”