VALE of Leven manager Hugh Hamill admits he has started planning ahead for next season after his side’s defeat to Benburb on Saturday.

The 2-0 defeat at Millburn follows on from a 1-0 home defeat to Port Glasgow the previous week and leaves Hamill’s men second-from-bottom of the Central District Second Division with six games to play.

With no possible escape route from the bottom tier, Hamill conceded Vale are playing for pride in the remainder of the campaign and he might take the opportunity to blood some youngsters from the club’s promising under-21s side.

He said: “We need to start looking ahead and maybe start giving some of the young boys at the club a run out.

“We have to take into account that the under-21s are still competing and are in cup competitions, so we wouldn’t want to disrupt that.

“It’s about getting the balance right, but we’ll get there eventually.”

Hamill believes the last two defeats have summed up Vale’s season in many respects.

There was not much between the sides on either occasion, but Vale failed to threaten the opposition goal enough.

The Vale boss conceded he has been left scratching his head after a difficult season in which the Millburn Park side have often competed well with teams that are challenging for promotion, but find themselves off the pace.

He said: “I thought we had pulled ourselves round with a few good results.

"Against Port Glasgow there wasn’t really much between the teams and I didn’t think we deserved to lose the game.

“That was my thoughts on Benburb as well, but in both games we didn’t look like scoring.

"I can’t fault the effort of the players in both games, but we didn’t take the initiative enough,

“We’ve been competitive with the teams at that top of the league, so we have to try to finish as high as possible.”