MUIRKIRK Juniors will have to find a new management team after their current boss and his assistants departed the club.

Manager Kevin Muirhead, who had been at the Burnside Park helm since 2017, has left the club alongside his assistant manager Mark O'Neill and coach Craig Bingham.

The trio have left the East Ayrshire outfit to take up a similar role which has been offered to them at Neilston FC.

Hailed as the 'Paisley Pep Guardiola', Muirhead leaves The Kirk with the club in a far more stable position than when he first took over the reigns over half a decade ago.

The Burnside Park side currently sit in 12th place in the West of Scotland Football League Second Division - a far cry from their previous position as one of the former Ayrshire District League's so-called 'whipping boys'.

While Muirkirk were obviously saddened at the departure of their management team, they wished them all the best in their new role, and thanked them for all of their hard work.

A club statement read: "We are sorry to announce that our management team have been offered and accepted a similar position at Neilston Juniors.

"I would like to put on record that as a club we would like to thank Kevin, Mark and Craig for the way they have moved our club forward tremendously over their tenure and they leave with, I’m sure, the best wishes from everyone at Burnside Park."

The job at Neilston provides a completely different challenge for the trio.

They come in to replace Neilston's former co-managers Chris Cameron and Derek Carson, who resigned from their roles with the East Renfrewshire club in mid-December.

Muirhead, O'Neill and Bingham come to Brig O'Lea with their new side currently playing in in the WoSFL First Division - one league above Muirkirk and only one step below the set-up's top tier.

It has been a disappointing first half to the season for Neilston, who would have had their sights firmly set on one of three promotion places at the beginning of the campaign.

The former Muirkirk trio enter the fray with their new side in 10th position in the league, only three points above the relegation zone.

They are also only four points below a promotion spot, but having played more games than the vast majority of sides in the league, they have a tough challenge ahead.

They will take charge of their first match on Saturday, January 14, when Neilston face Rutherglen Glencairn at home, kicking off at 1.30pm.

For the time being, Muirkirk remain manager-less. They are yet to confirm who will take charge of Saturday's home match versus Glasgow United, nor have they stated when the process of finding a new management team will begin.