Jordan Cairnie has already signed for Ardrossan Winton Rovers while midfielder Dylan Stevenson has joined Dalry Thistle.

And although no other deals have been finalised, Thomas Orr is interesting Bo’ness, Craig Knight could join local junior side Port Glasgow and Aidan Ferris looks set to link up with Petershill.

All moves will be development squad loans, which means the players are free to play for the Ton Under-20s as well as turning out for their respective junior club on the Saturday. Manager Jim Duffy, who kicked off his career with Maryhill Juniors, believes the moves will be hugely beneficial to the teenagers’ development.

He told the Tele: “There’s been a bit of interest from junior clubs in taking our development squad boys on loan until the end of the season. I’ve spoken to all our young players about it.

“It’s been agreed for Jordan to go to Ardrossan and Dylan is going to Dalry. They’re Ayrshire boys and those teams are local. Bo’ness want Thomas Orr, Petershill want Aidan, and I think Port Glasgow want Craig Knight; Craig McPherson has been talking to them. But nothing’s been agreed with any of those yet.

“I think a few others are going to go in and train with clubs maybe one night next week to see how they feel.

“We’re not forcing anyone. The boys have got to feel relaxed and comfortable, and understand why we’re trying to do it.

“What we want is for them to experience the preparation for a Saturday match — how you eat, sleep and do things on Friday — and playing against men in a competitive league.

“If you’re in the development league, by definition of the word it’s about developing players and the phrases used are ‘unlucky’ or ‘hard lines’.

“But in junior football it’s not like that. They will have to deal with the expectations of having to win, coping with making mistakes and receiving criticism or praise. It’s also a better standard than people maybe appreciate. They play more football now; it’s not about toughening players up — it’s about competition and that winning mentality.

“Another important element is that it teaches them to appreciate what they have, how fortunate they are to be at a club on a full-time basis. Whereas, for these boys [at junior level] it’s a bit like part-time; they are finishing their work and going and training and playing.

“The boys still train with us during the week and play for the Under-20s. It’s the best of both worlds and just gives them that added wee incentive to try and win themselves a [new] contract.”