Another football season is kicking off and for Gala Fairydean, Selkirk and Vale of Leithen it’s much more than the beginning of a term.
It’s a new dawn, a fresh era, as the three Borders clubs have left behind their East of Scotland (EOS) League home of many years to become part of the newly-formed Lowland League.
What’s more, Gala take the step under their new banner of Gala Fairydean Rovers – and it’s certainly a case of all systems go for the Netherdale side as they look forward to an away clash against Whitehill Welfare on Saturday.
Team boss Steven Noble told The Southern: “It’s a very exciting time as it’s a completely new venture for the club, as well as the Borders.
“The Lowland League is a great idea and we are very pleased to be involved in it as it is a pathway in Scottish football.
“It’s going to be a hard league as there are some top teams in it, but we are well aware of this. You couldn’t ask for a harder game than Saturday. Whitehill won the East of Scotland premier league last season and are a quality side.
“We have recently added to the squad in signing Jason Inglis (Selkirk) and Dean McColm (Hawick Waverley). Jason has a lot of experience, but is still a young man and will be a great asset. For Dean, it will be the first time he has played outside the Border Amateur League. He is a young player I have always admired.”
Selkirk tackle Threave Rovers at Yarrow Park.
Souters midfielder David Battle said: “We are going to be playing in a higher grade of football, so we are going to have to up our game.
“There are a few new players in the side, though, and if our pre-season is anything to go by, we could do well.”
Vale of Leithen entertain former EOS rivals Gretna 2008 at Victoria Park.
Elsewhere, Border sides are involved in EOS League Cup encounters.
Hawick are without Declan Hogg (unavailable) and Ronald Fleming (suspended) for their away clash with Stirling University. Kelso United manager ‘Prof’ Blaikie has a full squad to pick from for their meeting with Civil Service Strollers in Edinburgh, while Peebles Rovers travel to face Berwick Rangers Reserves on Friday evening.