Brian McGinty has given the thumbs up to a return to Junior football after agreeing to become the new team manager at Rossvale.

The one-time Rangers, Hull City and St Mirren frontman has been a notable absentee from the game since his shock resignation as Bellshill Athletic boss at the end of last season.

That came just weeks after he lead the famous old Lanarkshire outfit to promotion from the Super First Division.

He had initially been enticed into joining Bellshill in a player-coach capacity by the management duo of Robert Downs and Stevie Aitchison following chequered Junior playing stints with Pollok, Irvine Meadow and Cumnock.

So it comes across as more than a tad ironic that he has now installed former Pollok playing legend Aitchy as his Rossvale No.2.

But the 39 year old revealed: "Not a lot of people know that Aitchy and I go back a long way to when we were together at Rangers as 11-year-olds.

“What’s more common knowledge is I played against him went on to play alongside him before completing the full set by playing under him and Downsy, so I know all there is to know about him and cannot think of a better Junior man to have at my shoulder.”

Gints was reputed to have been shortlisted for the highly-sought-after Rossvale helm along with Gordon Moffat (Rob Roy) and Kirk Forbes (Stedfast Amateurs).

So he was delighted to get the nod from club officials that allowed him to get along for a first face to face meeting with his new playing charges this week.

He played it for laughs in adding: "The guys are not total strangers to me because I was a midfield partner of Ross Hepburn’s at Pollok where I did all his running and I’m a big fan of Jay Mackay who was my top scorer at Bellshill.

“There’s also the larger than life Jon Connolly between the sticks and I think anyone who has been on the Junior scene over the past 20 years knows of Jon.

“But I also have to own up to having watched the majority of the players in recent games so I’ve acquired a fair idea of their qualities and cannot wait to get working with them starting with our home game against the First Division league leaders Renfrew on Saturday.

“What I’ve already sensed from my initial meetings with the guys is the feel-good factor and togetherness of the dressing room so for that very reason I’m enlisting the help of our injured player Jamie Hunter who has made a real fist of looking after team affairs since Martin Lauchlan’s departure.

“Longer term, he has a contribution to make out on the pitch but until he is back to full fitness, I would like to tap into what Jamie has picked up on everyone’s strengths and weaknesses.”

McGinty hopes the experience gained in steering Bellshill to promotion last time out can help give Rossvale an edge in this season’s battle for the two step-up places on offer.

He said: "St Roch's and Johnstone Burgh, who came up along with Rossvale last time and of course the relegated Thorniewood United are the relative unknowns, but I’ll tap into my many contacts to establish what there is to know about them .

“Obviously I’m facing a tough start to my management, a real baptism of fire in coming up against Renfrew whose consistency doesn’t surprise me in the least as they had the look of an emerging force last season.

“Their striker Alan Kinney is top notch and really should be playing at the highest Junior level and I’m also a massive fan of his strike partner Chris Zok who undoubtedly knows where the goal is.

“The Frew squad also includes one of my former Rangers team-mates in Ian Nicholson whom I’m delighted to see back playing again after he suffered a stroke just days after appearing in a game against my Bellshill side last season.

“He is just one of several vastly experienced players in this Renfrew side and it’s vital that we press hard and don’t allow them to dominate possession.”

Gints was also measured in his assessment of how the other promotion contenders might fare, “Wishaw have stayed the course well under Chris McGroarty and I’d expect them to take all three points at home to Larkhall Thistle however it’s a much tougher proposition picking a winner from the Johnstone Burgh v Maryhill contest.

“The Burgh have shown themselves capable of getting results against the top teams but Maryhill are on a remarkable winning run just like last season and will take some stopping.”

On a sadder comes word of the passing in midweek of legendary Cambuslang Rangers club official Gibby Fyfe who came onto the Somervell Park Committee in 1953 and aspired to serve as their chairman for over 25 years as well as putting in lengthy terms as both Central Region and West of Scotland President.

Details of the highly regarded Gibby’s funeral arrangements will be disclosed in due course.