Broxburn delighted to land duo

STEVE PITTMAN has secured a double signing he's hoping can prove pivotal as league leaders Broxburn Athletic bid to continue their rise up the East Region ranks by earning a Super League spot next season.

Paul Shields, the former Celtic and Raith Rovers striker, has joined from Bo'ness, while Pittman is equally delighted to have secured the services of defender Chris Purves from Broxburn Under-19s.

"Paul is a very good player who's been there and done it," said Pittman of his new front man, who earned a 100,000 move to Celtic after making his mark at Raith and also had spells with Gillingham and Livingston as well as a term in Sweden.

"I had made inquires about two players from a division below us, but I don't know where some people are getting their prices from because they were wanting more than what we've paid for Paul."

Chris Geddes and John Jeffrey have done a decent job in the striking positions so far this season, their goals helping Broxburn carve out a six-point advantage in the title race before the cold spell struck. But Pittman says he's been keen to add a player with a more physical presence and believes 29-year-old Shields fits the bill perfectly.

"He's a great signing for the club and I don't think it would be wrong to say we are pinning our hopes on him to add that extra impetus in our bid to get into the Super League," he added.

Purves, who can play at either right back or centre half, first caught Pittman's eye when his own son, now at Hamilton, was also playing for Broxburn Under-18s. "I honestly see him being a future captain of this club," declared the manager. "He's still a bit raw and has a few things to learn, but he has so much going for him."

Shields is cup-tied for tomorrow's long-awaited Emirates Junior Cup clash against Culter, which could be switched to Banks o'Dee if the Culter pitch is unplayable. Glenrothes, who have three games in hand on the leaders, are also due to be in Cup action tomorrow, but third-placed St Andrews will be looking to close the gap on Broxburn when they host Arniston.

Penicuik have a chance to jump away from the relegation zone when they host a Whitburn side just two points below them.