Gers await licence to thrill at Albert

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DOUBT hangs over Hawick Royal Albert’s glamour tie against a Rangers XI on Saturday as the Glasgow side are still waiting to be granted a licence to play in the Scottish Football Association, writes Fiona Scott.

Talks between the SFA and directors of Rangers Newco broke up on Tuesday night without a resolution in the Ibrox side’s quest to gain membership. After six hours, some issues remained unresolved and discussions were ongoing at the time of going to print yesterday.

The beleaguered city outfit were booted out of the SPL last month following liquidation and are due to start a new campaign in the bottom tier with a Ramsdens Cup tie against Brechin next Saturday.

The side due to travel to the Borders on Saturday was to be made up from Tommy Wilson’s Under-19s and reserves squad, but even they have been affected by the current situation and are unable to play in an ‘open door’ match.

Speaking to TheSouthern on Tuesday, Wilson said: “It’s been very difficult trying to arrange matches and we really don’t know when we will get the licence.

“We are doubtful that the game on Saturday will take place at all, but if that is the case then we would definitely want to reschedule it for another time. Everyone was really looking forward to coming down to the Borders and getting some game time in.”

If the team get a last-minute reprieve from the powers that be, then Wilson would be hoping to field international age-grade players such as Luca Gasparoto and Scots duo Tom Walsh and Fraser Aird.

In Hawick, the Albert men are still hoping to get the match played.

Committee member and match organiser Michael Hook told us: “There has been a lot of work going on down here over the summer, both with player signings and improvements around the ground. If this game does go ahead then we would expect a big crowd of both home and visiting supporters down here. Forums are already buzzing about the game and there are a lot of positive comments.

“We have a great new wave of supporters down here, including the famous Ultras, who sang us through most of last season. We are rewarding that on Saturday by letting kids in free.”

The Hawick side have been busy over the summer gathering a few new signings to there squad. Scott Watson who has previously turned out for Peebles Rovers, Arniston Rangers and Gorebridge Thistle, former Albert Park man Ryan Shepherd, former Preston Athletic Under-21 midfielder Innes Zenati, Peter Keenan (Preston Athletic), Peter Conaghan (Lothian Thistle) and a new goalkeeper in David Duncan from Leith Athletic, all look set to join the club.