KELTY HEARTS gaffer Stevie Leighton is hoping youthful enthusiasm will help his side hit the Super League heights as he prepares for the new campaign.

Leighton has added three players from Cowdenbeath under-19s to his roster, including Mark Forbes and Chris King, who were on loan to Oakley last season, and Neil McCabe.

The Central Park gaffer has also brought in ex-Glenrothes striker Gregg Meikle, Ross Graham from Lochgelly under-19s and Craig Bateson from Rosyth under-21s.

The move has paid off so far after the Jambos recorded two 5-0 wins and a 4-0 victory in their first three league cup games.

Leighton told Press Sport, “The enthusiasm and hard work that the young guys have brought to the club has been fantastic.

"I have got 21 players and competition is now fierce.” John Rushford has left the club due to injury, Thomas O’ Brien has returned to Cowdenbeath while Tam McGeorge is currently tied up playing American football.

Leighton added, “We are looking to get consistency this year and stabilise ourselves in the league then see how far up we can finish.

“It’s going to be hard to compete against the likes of Linlithgow and Bo’ness because of the money they can spend on so-called big names but hopefully our boys show no fear.

“Winning a cup is a must for a club the size of Kelty. Not doing that last year was unacceptable with the standards we are trying to set.” In the Fife Central League, four West Fife sides will be competing for the one promotion slot.

Oakley have added experience in the form of ex-Cowdenbeath, Arbroath, Partick Thistle and Berwick Rangers striker Murray McDowell and ex-East Fife and Arbroath midfielder John Cusick.

Peter Bannatyne and Kevin Masson have been sold to Lochgelly and Kirkcaldy respectively, David Hutton has retired, while David Manderson, Greg Cardle, Martin Parkyn, Chris Hughes and Alan Clark are all on the transfer list.

Gaffer Stevie Kay said, “We needed experience. Our aim is to win that league, the game doesn’t change.

"We’re looking good and we need to try and get the boys’ fitness up and minutes on the park as we know it will be a difficult league this year.” Crossgates are hoping to build on their promising start in the League Cup to mount a challenge and have added central midfielder Chris Millar and striker Dean Elder to their squad, with Gary Brown leaving the club.

Chairman Shug Paterson said, “We’re on fire just now, beating Bo’ness and then Steelend in the League Cup, and we believe we can challenge for the league.

“Last year all the guys we had were amateur status and they’ve now had a year as juniors so they’ve grown up a year and know what they’ve to do to get the points.

"I’m sure having more or less the same team will be an advantage to us.” Steelend are aiming to improve on last season’s eighth place finish.

Manager Paul Glancey has raided the youth leagues to strengthen his squad, signing four from Cowdenbeath Central under-19s - Michael Watt, Kyle Brand, Scott Fotheringham and Donald Hislop - Ryan O’Connor from Lochgelly Albert Colts under-21s and Mark Higgins from Valleyfield Amateurs.

Glancey said, “We’ve maybe lost a bit of experience, losing my two centre backs Andrew Davis and Robbie Greenhill, but if I can finish mid-table I would be happy.

“We’ve got to go with youth, as we have no money, and we need to get the guys the experience they’re lacking, learn from our mistakes in the League Cup and get confidence for the rest of the season.” Rosyth have had an impressive start to the season, with League Cup victories against Crossgates and Steelend, considering they’ve had a makeshift squad, with manager Willie Syme and assistant Mark Tanner both having to pull on strips to make up the numbers.

The club hope to sign two or three more experienced players over the next week to add to the presence of ‘999’ utility man Mike Brown, the centre half who was used as an emergency striker against Steelend and notched four goals in the process.

Mark Tanner said, “We’ve got a great team spirit and boys that are playing and fighting for each other.

"We’ll be there or thereabouts, we’re optimistic and you want to go out and win every week and that’s what we’ll be trying to do.”