George is new assistant boss at Cumbernauld

Former senior pro George Shaw has been brought in as assistant manager at junior side Cumbernauld United.

Shaw, whose lengthy list of clubs includes St Mirren, Partick Thistle, Dundee, Dunfermline and Ross County, will assist United boss John Queen at Guy’s Meadow.

United have begun their build-up to the new season - which kicks off with an exselgroup Sectional League Cup opener against Kirkintilloch Rob Roy on Saturday, August 6 - with manager Queen in much more optimistic mood than this time last year.

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Twelve months ago he had to virtually rebuild the whole squad from scratch after wholesale departures and endured a difficult start to the season with a couple of heavy defeats before things began to stabilise. But this time round there’s a much more settled look to things.

He said: “Other than Dylan McGuigan who has joined East Stirlingshire, we have retained the nucleus of last season’s squad and more or less kept the players we wanted to retain.

“We’re still looking to add to the squad and maybe bring in a few new faces to freshen things up before the start of the season but we won’t have to implement the kinds of changes we did last year. As for George he’ll bring in great experience of playing and coaching at senior level.”

Cumbernauld’s pre-season schedule includes games away to Thorniewood United on Wednesday, July 27, and Linlithgow Rose on Wednesday, August 3.

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It’s a similar story at Kilsyth Rangers where manager Keith Hogg has retained the bulk of last season’s squad. However one notable addition is former Linlithgow Rose stalwart Mark Tyrell. The defender, from Kilsyth, spent nine years at Rose before leaving due to work commitments.

Francis Kelly, is also returning to Duncansfield after a year with Linlithgow, and one with Camelon.

Kilsyth play their first pre-season friendly against Armadale Thistle at Motherwell on Saturday with further games lined up against Arthurlie (away) next Wednesday and Linlithgow Rose and Hurlford, both at home, on July 23 and 30.

Kilsyth open their season against Rossvale on August 6.