THE wait is nearly over for West Fife's East of Scotland League clubs as the new competitive season begins this weekend.

Crossgates Primrose, Inverkeithing Hillfield Swifts, Oakley United and Rosyth will all kick off their league campaigns on Saturday, and optimism is high amongst the quartet that they can enjoy a successful one.

Premier Division Primrose, who begin at Haddington Athletic, rounded off their pre-season fixtures with 5-0 wins over Cupar Hearts, on Saturday, and a young Dunfermline Athletic academy side, on Monday evening.

Boss Alan Campbell has brought in seven new faces, and commented: "We've worked really hard on fitness. We went away for a wee training camp up in St Andrews, the players got really fit, and had tough challenges against Lowland League teams (Bo'ness United and Stirling University).

"The players weren't quite ready at the start; I think we still had a few injuries from last season, new guys were bedding in, and guys are on their holidays, so we took a couple of beatings in the games, but it was probably quite a good character test for us.

"We've had three friendlies at home there in the last week, and they've went really well. We've won them all, and I think we've scored 13 goals in the three games, so we're going in with a wee bit momentum on Saturday. We looked quite good, certainly Saturday and Monday night.

"It's been alright. We've got seven new players, so they've had to get a bit of time to bed into the way we play, and the culture, so it's been good.

"I think for us, with having that many players, and we've also taken the average age of the squad down a bit, with some younger players coming in, I think we just look to try and improve year on year.

"Last season was the first year in seven years I've been there, that we've not improved, as in on our league position. I think we improved the team, but things spiralled against us and we didn't improve the league position, so I think the first thing is to get back to that, just improving, improving in the league, getting up the league, and maybe having a couple of good cup runs."

Competing against them in the Premier Division are Swifts, who visit Jeanfield Swifts on Saturday, under their new management team of Jason Dair, and his brother, Lee.

They ended an encouraging pre-season with a 3-2 loss at West of Scotland Football League outfit Arthurlie on Saturday, and Jason commented: "In general, I'd say pre-season has went well.

"A bit of getting to know each other in terms of management and players, and what our methods and expectations are, as well as usual pre-season, getting fit and avoiding injuries.

"We've had some good results so heading into the first game, away to Jeanfield, in good spirits. We've got a tough four games to start, but we're looking forward to it."

In the First Division, Oakley United, who start at Whitburn, will be aiming for a better season than last, which saw them relegated from the Premier Division after winning just two of their 30 games.

Peter Goldie has lost Reece Bernard and Mark Mooney to Kinnoull, but has strengthened his squad, as well as his coaching team, in the shape of Stevie Lennon and Stevie Dolan, the latter of him has put off retirement to take up a player / coach role.

"Pre-season has went well and the results have been ok," he said.

"In the first couple of games, we played the majority of the under-20s, which let me see what we need, if the 20s are good enough to step up, or if we need a bit more experience and quality. Four of the 20s have stepped up to the mark, and will be part of the first team squad, and we've put some of the others out on loan.

"To have four boys coming up from the 20s this year shows that our pathway is working.

"We've freshened up the squad and have brought in players who are buying into what we're doing. There's a good vibe around the place and I think we're going in the right direction."

After a difficult start, Rosyth ended the previous campaign well under manager, Greig Denham, and he has targeted a promotion challenge for his side this season in the First Division.

They open at home to Whitehill Welfare, and Denham commented: "We've had a positive pre-season, with some really strong showings in each of the games.

"We should be in for an enjoyable season. We've got a good squad, with talented players, and clubs have been asked about our players, which is a testament to the squad.

"I've reiterated to the squad that the aim is to be challenging for promotion. We know it will be difficult - there's some good teams, and it will be competitive - but I fully expect to be up there challenging. If not, it'll be extremely disappointing.

"If we can keep everybody fit and healthy, then it'll take a good team to stop us."

All of Saturday's games kick off at 2.30pm.