Delight dampened by Dodds’ departure

John Dodds was stretched to his limits throughout Saturday's Scottish Cup clash at Victoria Park. Photograph: Brian Sutherland
John Dodds was stretched to his limits throughout Saturday's Scottish Cup clash at Victoria Park. Photograph: Brian Sutherland
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Delight at being accepted into the new Lowland League was tinged with sadness this week as the club confirmed that they have lost one of their most prolific players.

Goalkeeper John Dodds will not be appearing for the club this season and told The Wee Paper that issues away from the playing field had caused him to make the decision early last term.

“A few things had happened outwith the football and to be honest I think I was getting a bit stuck in a rut. Perhaps I have just been with Selkirk FC too long. I feel I need a new challenge.”

Dodds, who has been with the Yarrow Park Club for six years, doesn’t know where he will be going yet, but feels he still has some good mileage in him. He added: “I definitely want to keep playing. I have been approached by a few amateur clubs, but I won’t be going down that road.

“They have a great set-up in the Borders, but I always feel that amateur football is there for people who want to play for fun. I like to win games too much.

“I have the greatest respect for Mike McKinnon, the coaches and my former team-mates at Selkirk and wish them all the best for their future in the new league.”

McKinnon in turn wished his star stopper all the best and added: “John’s will be a huge pair of boots to fill. Not only was he 100 per cent committed to the game, but was a great captain and helped on the coaching side also.

“However, he let us know of his decision a while ago and I have been talking to a lot of people about filling his and other positions at the club.

“We are also losing Euan Pritchard. He is another great guy and will be hugely missed, but a career in the RAF was one he could not have passed up.

“Mostly everyone else has re-signed and they are all really excited about the new challenge.

“It’s a huge step up, but I would go absolutely anywhere with this team and take any team on, the core of the squad is good enough.

“It will be a massive challenge, but I think we are ready for it.”

Having started their quest to fill the SFA Licencing criteria two years ago, and having just their ground capacity certificate to be passed by SBC, news of their acceptance into the new 12-team league this week was not entirely unexpected. Nevertheless, the club are still elated that all their hard work has brought such a just reward.

“It’s a massive thing for both the football club and Selkirk and everyone who has been involved in making sure we had everything in place should be really proud of themselves,” added McKinnon.

Selkirk FC will be joined in the new league by Vale of Leithen, Gala Fairydean, competing as Gala Fairydean Rovers, Spartans, Threave Rovers, Preston Athletic, Gretna 2008, Whitehill Welfare, Dalbeattie Star, East Kilbride, Edinburgh City and University of Stirling.