THE seven local junior sides have much to look forward to in the coming season.

The area’s three Super League sides all have very much separate agendas with Hill of Beath Hawthorn looking to build on last season’s fifth top finish and challenge for the title.

Kelty Hearts will be seeking to ensure that they avoid the trauma of the relegation play-offs next term, while Ballingry Rovers, under new boss Lee Dair, will be working to finish well out of the bottom three.

In the East Premier League newly promoted Dundonald Bluebell are out to establish themselves in the higher grade while in the South Division Lochgelly Albert will have eyes on finishing in the top two, and Crossgates Primrose will be looking for a top half place.

In the North Division, Lochore Welfare, under new boss Peter Hutton, will have hankerings for the top two also.

Hill of Beath Hawthorn had a good campaign last season finishing in the top five of the Super League but manager Jock Finlayson has made six changes to the Keir’s Park squad for next term.

Striker Gareth Wardlaw has retired while Barry Smith, Gavin Hay, Scott Renton, Ross Allum and Ross Brewster will ply their trade elsewhere.

The striking department has been augmented by the capture of Ben Anthony, from Cowdenbeath, and Stephen Bathgate, from Kelty. Midfield signings have been Lewis MacKenzie, Adam Moffat, from Ballingry Rovers and Michael Gemmell from Bonnyrigg, while defender Kevin Byle has been fixed up from Bathgate Thistle.

The manager still has his eyes on a couple of players who could do a job for Haws but he is expecting to work with a squad of around 18 players.

“Last season was good in many ways,” he said this week, “The league was pretty good but if there was to be a disappointment we did not do well enough in the three main cup competitions.

“I feel that the people we have brought in will strengthen the squad and our aim is to do better than last season in both the league and cup competitions although nothing is easy in the East Super League.” TIMES PREDICTION: Top four slot for Hill of Beath this season and watch for an old fashion Haws Scottish Cup run.

Kelty’s lack of goals was a problem for player/boss Tom Courts (pictured right) last season and he is looking for a higher return from the good build-up play next season.

Away from Hearts are Ross Philp to Boness Utd; Damon Gray; and Stevie Bathgate to Hill Of Beath; and Paddy Deane who has joined Boness, while Darren Kelly and David Carr are up for transfer.

Coming in is former Hearts player Conrad Courts who has committed himself to the club after a year at Ballingry, and also joining up is Shaun Greig, a midfielder from Kirkcaldy YM; Kyle Allison, the Ballingry Rovers ‘keeper; midfielder Stevie Manson from Bonnyrigg Rose; front man Craig O’Reilly from Newtongrange; Scott Gilfillan, a link man from Kelty Hearts 19’s; and midfielder Jason Penman from the same outfit; defender Garry Leighton of Glenrothes; Sean O’Neill, who plays at the back or up front, from Kirkcaldy YM, plus striker Scott Lawrie, top scorer last season at Forres Mechanics in the Highland League.

Said Thomas Courts, “We have lost a few so we have had to rebuild the squad and the additions will strengthen us in all positions.

“In the second-half of last season we failed to win some games through missing a lot of good chances so we will be working hard at increasing our conversion rate and looking at putting results on the board which can see us into a better league position and give us a chance to make some good cup runs.” TIMES PREDICTION: Hearts to be challenging in the top half of the table and watch out also for a good Scottish Cup run next term from them.

Ballingry Rovers have a new boss in former Cowdenbeath player Lee Dair and he has been busy bringing in some experienced players to boost what was a very young squad last season.

Rovers punched above their weight last term to avoid the bottom three and Lee hopes to be able to build on that this season.

Already he has signed goalkeeper Rory Mooney from Oakley United, centre-half Robert Fyfe from Lochore Welfare, Chris Hughes, a defender from Oakley, experienced midfielder, Barry Smith, from Hill of Beath Hawthorn, defender Darren Wilson from Oakley, midfielder Tom Graham from Rosyth Rec, and Greg Meikle, from Kirkcaldy YM.

He has hopes of another couple of players as he builds towards operating with a squad of around 18 players.

Said Lee, “The young lads did really well last season and we will have eight of them still here so I intend to bring in people who can help them.

“The ultimate goal is to finish above the bottom three but our target has to be featuring considerably higher than that and also have a couple of good cup runs.” TIMES PREDICTION: Rovers again will be shock troops. They surprised a lot of people last season and this coming campaign will see them pose a lot of problems for the big guns.

Dundonald Bluebell were up at the top of the South Division for long periods last season but eventually finished runners-up so they will intend finishing out of the bottom four of the Premier League this season.

Four players from last term have departed Moorside in the shape of Jimmy Shields, Callum McNeill, Paul McQuade and defender Ross Graham, who has gone senior with Montrose.

Players joining up are Scott Orrock, a midfielder from Kirkcaldy YM; Lewis Elder, a striker from YM; left-back Aiden Hendry, from Ballingry Rovers; and defender or striker, Murray Carstairs, from Rovers.

They will join 14 of last season’s promotion winning players and there are still plans to fix-up another couple of players.

Long serving committee man at Moorside, Drew Davidson said, “With four down it will be a cut throat division but our aim is to establish ourselves pretty quickly in the programme and finish in as high a position as possible.

“Our good Scottish Cup run, which took us to the last eight, had everyone really excited and we will be hoping to do well in these sort of competitions this coming sesason.” TIMES PREDICTION: Bluebell will have the firepower to keep out of trouble and will again pose problems for opponents in cup-ties.

Lochore Welfare’s new manager, Peter Hutton, has high hopes of mounting a promotion challenge in the North Division.

Last season the Central Parkers challenged in the top half but dropped too many silly points to be promotion contenders and Peter wants to change that.

He has managed to recruit six of the highly successful Benarty AFC squad and has brought in several other lads in the bid to put together a squad that came make an impact.

He said, “Too many soft goals cost the Welfare dear last season and we will be working on tightening things up at the back.

“If we do that there is no reason why we cannot mount a serious challenge for promotion.” TIMES PREDICTION: Welfare will finish in the top six of the division but they will have to cut out the silly errors that blighted last season’s challenge to meet Peter Hutton’s ambitions.

Lochgelly Albert threatened at times to make an impact on last season’s South Division but ended up falling away.

However, new boss Craig Ness has made some really good acquisitions and with a strong input from the players that had good moments last term, they could do a lot better this time.

Said new club secretary Gary Charles, “We have brought in some very good acquisitions and the aim is to be up there challenging.

“A bit more consistency is needed but the manager is hopeful to seeing just that and if we get this then there is no doubt we could make a real impact.” Among the new acquisitions are Stevie Brown and Connor Schiavone, from Ballingry Rovers; Brett McGuire from Lochore Welfare; goalkeeper Roy Ness; Kirkcaldy YM’s Andrew Wilson; Paul Hindley, from Celtic; along with Blair Grubb, Lewis McIntosh, Lewis Grierson and Gregor Colquhoun.

On the way out of Gardiner’s Park are Rory Harrower and Craig Duncan ; while Colin Rushford has retired to become goalkeeping coach and Andy McFarlane has also retired.

TIMES PREDICTION: Albert will get the right mix to be up there challenging for a Premier League place.