Brian Heron has been installed as Port Glasgow’s new team boss not just because he boasts a wealth of Junior management experience that includes a successful stint in charge of the club dating back almost 10 years.

The 57-year-old also ticks another box that supporters may feel is even more pertinent for helping The Undertakers build upon their promotion to the Central First Division, and that is his close affiliation with the club going even further back.

A local man, Heron has long been identified with the Junior club on his doorstep, having played for Port Glasgow Juniors in their relative heyday alongside such worthies as Albert Burnett, John Patterson, Eddie McNab, John Gillen and Joe Gillies.

“I joined the Port when they were managed by the former Morton centre-half George Anderson but he was to stay in charge for only a season before former player Rikky Cabrey took over the helm,” said Heron, who has taken charge after Craig Brown had to resign due to work commitments.

“His determination to be a winner rubbed off on players like myself and we enjoyed some great times. However, he was a great believer in bringing through the best of the local talent to play for the Port and that same ethos worked for me when first managing the club and I hope to do the same again.”

Heron has wasted no time in appointing two of his former players, Eddie Walton and Paul Coyle, as his assistants while yet

another ex-Port Glasgow fans favourite, Andy Monaghan, is returning in a player/coach capacity.

“These guys are all arriving at the twilight of their playing careers and are now looking to bridge the gap into coaching/management and I see my job as helping them get there,” he said.

“I’ve already warned them this is going to be no picnic given we have taken over a dressing room where several players have been lured away by other clubs in the wake of Bruno’s departure but I have to say there are signs of a decent squad

coming together. We played a pre-season friendly game against Irvine Vics just two days after I took charge and won 2-1 which was a real boost for everyone, not least because I feel as if the players are about eight to 10 training sessions behind where I would like us to be.”

Next up for Heron is another friendly joust on Saturday, against Maryhill, a club he managed for five years when his squad included Walton, Coyle and Monaghan,until resigning in 2015.

The Port gaffer said: “I have a lot of respect for the people at Maryhill and I’m looking forward to seeing them again but I toyed with the idea of pulling out of the game.

“I was concerned it might be a mismatch as they are a team on the rise under their new manager John Hughes and will represent a huge test for my players. However, maybe this is the type of challenge we need.”

In games last night, Pollok midfielder Bryan Young set the ball rolling for a 3-1 victory over Petershill with a goal after just nine seconds and another newcomer, Stefan McLuskey, added a brace before half time. Ryan Hynes pulled a goal back.

Clydebank came out on top against Hamilton Accies Under 20s with Alan Frizzell netting the only goal, while the biggest upset was at Dunterlie where Scott McKean (2) and Davie Ryan scored as East Kilbride Thistle overcame Arthurlie 3-2.

Results: Auchinleck Talbot 2 Troon 2, Kilbirnie Ladeside 5 Cumbernauld Utd 1, Arthurlie 2 East Kilbride Thistle 3, Pollok 3 Petershill 1, Maybole 2 Irvine Meadow 2, Beith 1 Whitletts Vics 0, Rossvale 5 Bellshill Athletic 3, Clydebank 1 Hamilton Accies Under 20s 0, Kilsyth Rangers 1 Linlithgow Rose 3, Irvine Vics 4 Stranraer Under 20s 2.