KILSYTH Rangers' promotion hopes have been dealt two major blows as assistant manager Danny Smith and captain Graham Tough have both left the club.
Smith has taken charge of East Super League side Camelon Juniors while Tough has emigrated to Australia.
Boss Eric Sinclair made Smith a part of his management team at the start of the season in a player/coach role after he stepped down as captain of Linlithgow Rose following a hugely successful playing career.
Smith said: "To be honest, it's just came completely out of the blue. Camelon approached Kilsyth and asked if they could speak to me. It was an opportunity I couldn't turn down.
"The challenge is there now, they're in the lower half of the table.
That league, I'm pretty familiar with. The teams I'll come up against won't be unknown. This is obviously my first managerial job, it's a challenge I had to take, especially since I'm inexperienced as such.
"It's a real wrench to leave Kilsyth. I was saying to Russell (McKay] – although I've only been there for five months from the summer, the club, players, Eric (Sinclair] and the committee have been fantastic with me. I've been loving my time here."
Danny's assistant at Camelon will be Alan Moffat who had a spell at Kilsyth under Davie Connell in the mid-nineties before going on to play for Dunipace and then Camelon.
Smith added: "This wasn't planned, it's just one of those things, you have to take the chance when it's there. I spoke to Eric as well as another few ex-managers before I made up my mind. It wasn't an easy decision to make.
"I'd just like to say thank you to everybody associated with Kilsyth Rangers, they been absolutely fantastic with me."
Russell McKay, club president, said: "The committee and everyone connected with the club are really disappointed to be losing Danny as assistant manager and coach and would like to thank him for the hard work and commitment he has given to the club over the past few months. We are very sorry to lose him but he goes with our best wishes and we wish him every success in his future role in management. He will always be welcome at Duncansfield.
"Also, we would like to wish Graham all the very best and every success in his new life."
Rangers' scheduled Junior Scottish Cup second round tie at Darvel was again postponed due to the weather at the weekend.
With the festive break over the next two weekends, the earliest date possible for the game will be January 8.