You'll drive a hard bargain to lure MacKay

Greenock boss Stevie Mooney reckons Kenny MacKay can be the scourge of Scottish Third Division defences – but is keeping fingers crossed the jet-paced striker stays with the Tail O' The Bank club.

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Third Division Annan are tracking Greenock striker Kenny MacKay
Third Division Annan are tracking Greenock striker Kenny MacKay

MacKay is a signing target of Annan, whose manager Jim Chapman saw him terrorise Auchinleck Talbot's backline in the Evening Times Champions Cup semi-final won 4-2 by the Ayrshiremen.

Mooney does not doubt for one minute that his Central First Division title-winning side's top scorer has the raw ability to be a revelation in the Senior ranks.

However, neither has he given up on having the 24-year-old spearheading the Nock's forward line next season.

He said: "Jim Chapman told me he wanted to take Kenny down to Galabank, but I can see distance proving a real obstacle considering the big guy lives in Dunoon and doesn't drive.

"Playing with us he gets picked up and dropped off at the ferry by our club officials but somehow I don't see anyone from Annan coming all the way up here to do the same.

"I'm a bit in the dark as nobody from Annan has been in touch since the Auchinleck game and I haven't spoken with Kenny either.

"However, that in itself is nothing unusual as he tends to stay under my radar around the time our pre-season training is getting under way.

"His absence at this stage is nothing to get concerned about given he is a super-fit type who you can rely upon to be in tip-top condition when pre-season games kick off."

The Nock boss has only a provisional friendly match against Maryhill planned for Saturday, August 3 and is looking for games in the preceding fortnight either home or away. He said: "Moving up into the Super First Division presents a whole new raft of challenges for our players, not least of all taking on Ayrshire teams in their own backyard.

"I wouldn't mind a couple of friendly affairs down there to give the guys a taster of what to expect."

He went on: "Our team plans are slowly but surely taking shape, with Paul Scott returning from a stint with Largs Thistle.

"We are also in talks with their midfielder Martin Dow, who is one of several coming in to do pre-season training.

"The only confirmed departure is Andy Irvine, who is taking some time away from the game, but otherwise the main thrust of last season's squad have signed back on again barring Kenny, Tam Jamieson and young Martin Orr.

"They are three key players and the hope is they will follow suit, not least because we envisage keeping the partnership of Kenny and John Carter together will pose a lot of problems for Super First defenders."

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