EXPERIENCED defender Darren Miller has high hopes that Irvine Meadow can compete with the top sides in next season's Premiership.

And he said securing promotion through the play-offs was the highlight of his career so far.

Miller is one of 16 players already signed up for last season.

The others, confirmed last week are: Colin Spence, Shaun Newman, Mark McLennan, Ryan Begley, Calum Gow, David Mackay, Jared Willet, Ben Carson, Colin Spence, Ryan Carnwath, Rhys Devlin, Jordan McGuire, Eddie McTernan, Graham Boyd and Peter Gemmell.

Defender Stuart Hannah has been released by the club.

Former Kilwinning Rangers star Miller completed his first season at Meadow Park and played a few games up front late in the season owing to injuries.

He said: "I was promoted with Ardeer and won the league with Ardrossan Winton Rovers but achieving promotion with Meadow has been the highlight of my career so far.

"I played in defence most of the time but helped up front after Eddie McTernan got injured. Hopefully I will be back in my old position next season. We did really well go to up and there was a lot of belief in the squad - were very much together- that was the key and we were on an amazing run of form. Our West of Scotland Cup win away to Kilwinning was possibly a turning point, it showed what we can do. The new coaching team made a big difference.

"We look forward to next season and our reward from promotion is that we play in the Premier Division. It will be good to play in local games against the likes of Troon and the derby against Kilwinning Rangers, hopefully we can compete well in the league and it will be a challenge."

Boss Brian McGinty is pleased to have the players on board and said: "We said to the guys to buy into what we were doing and most of them have, that's why most of them have been re-signed for next season. Hopefully we can bring in a few others to take the squad up to about 21 or 22, which would be a good number given we have a lot of league games and cup ties to be played.

"We want to firstly make sure we consolidate in the league by January or February and see where that takes us."