DON’T expect any old pals act when former Pollok team-mates John Sweeney and Jamie Darroch meet at Valefield on Saturday.

The competitive pair played together for the Tony McInally-managed side that won the “double” of Super First Division

title and Evening Times Champions Cup in 2015, but will line up against one another when Kilbirnie Ladeside host Clydebank in a vital Super Premier Division encounter.

Midfielder Sweeney moved to Ayrshire climes last summer following a rollercoaster playing stint with St Rochs, while Darroch is now in his second season at the heart of the Bankies defence after work commitments had seen him move to his local team Port Glasgow on the back of his Newlandsfield exit.

Kilbirnie ace Sweeney said: “Jamie wears his heart on his sleeve and is a type who always gives 100 per cent so I’m not in the least bit surprised that he’s playing regularly and is a firm favourite of the Clydebank supporters.

“I know better than to think there will be any niceties from him during the 90 minutes on Saturday but neither will I be holding anything back considering the stakes for both clubs.

“Picking up all three points could see Kilbirnie go second in the table, while Jamie and his Clydebank team-mates will be motivated by the prospect of chalking up their first league win of the season and climbing away from bottom spot.

“People in the game reckon their position is false and I can understand why with the likes of Ryan Deas and the former

Stirling Albion pair of John Johnston and Ross Forsyth in their team but hopefully they don’t get their act

together against ourselves.”

Central defender Jamie Lyden, recently released by the Bankies, has been training with Kilbirnie but Sweeney does not believe he will feature against his former team.

“Mick O’Byrne and Reon Juskowiak have formed a terrific defensive partnership that has contributed greatly to our good start along with the displays of young Corey Hughes who was playing with Greenock last season yet does not look out of place in the top league,” he said.

“And I cannot talk about our team without mention of Davie Anderson who is playing at the very top of his game and it beggars belief how he was not named in the recent Scotland Juniors squad.

“A word also for our striker Jon Scullion who is a special player capable of scoring special goals and I fancy his pairing with young James Finlay could pose problems for the Bankies even with Jamie in their backline.

“Our manager Budgie McGhie is missing out on this game because of a prior holiday booking but that’s maybe just as well because of the hype that would have surrounded his long standing connection with the Bankies.

“He doesn’t see this game as anything special and is wanting us to put points on the board and cement our position among the big guns.”

The no-nonsense Darroch also made light of the McGhie connection even though he is one of the former gaffer’s signings still on the Bankies’ books.

He insisted: “We’ve had an extremely tough start to our league campaign in facing three of last season’s top four-placed clubs and we have quickly found out that you get punished for making mistakes at this level.

“We showed a bit of character last weekend to force a 0-0 draw against Arthurlie that could easily have been our first win and ideally we would like to show further improvement away to Kilbirnie.

“It won’t be easy; it never is in jaunts down to Ayrshire and more so with a certain Mr Sweeney battling for every ball as if his life depends upon it. However, we have to look for that first win to kickstart our season.”