Testing times ahead for Borders Lowland League sides

Phil Addison goes in for the ball for Selkirk
Phil Addison goes in for the ball for Selkirk

Another football season is upon us and on Saturday clubs from the Lowland and East of Scotland leagues put the friendly games behind them.

They’ll knuckle down to the job in hand – getting through a term which will no doubt bring about its share of ups and downs, joys, thrills and disappointments.

Gala Fairydean Rovers kick off their campaign by hitting the road to Prestonpans to tackle Preston Athletic.

Gala manager Steven Noble told The Southern: “We lost twice to Preston away from home last season and were well beaten in both games, so we will be in for a hard game on Saturday.

“Things have been going well for us in pre-season though. New signings Ross Aitchison, Keith Lough, Darren Thomson and Daryl Devlin have all made an impact and have added a bit of experience to the squad. I am still on the lookout to bring in more new faces and we will just have to wait to see what unfolds.”

Fairydean Rovers have Aitchison and Devlin out through suspension and Craig McBride is unavailable.

With a new manager at the helm in Mark Lamb, Vale of Leithen entertain Edinburgh City at Victoria Park.

Glancing ahead to the game, the one-time Peebles Rovers team boss, who has been in charge of the Berwick Rangers reserve side for the past two seasons, said: “Like other managers at this time of the season I have the problem of having players on holiday and unfortunately have guys missing for the Edinburgh City game.

“This is something you have to accept, though, and you just have to get on with it. It’s going to be a trying season for the Vale as we have a very young side, the average being 19-20.

“Although it will be a testing time for these young boys playing in the Lowland League, I am confident that they will do well. Nine of the new players that I brought in were with me at Berwick Rangers and I am delighted that they have joined the Vale.

“We have got a tough opening game against Edinburgh City. City have been making some cracking signings lately and I can see them being one of the top teams in the Lowland League this season.”

Expressing his views on what lies ahead in the months to come prior to his side’s home meeting with Threave Rovers, Selkirk manager Steve Forrest commented: “There are 16 new players in the squad, so it’s like when you move into a new house, you have a bit of sorting out to do to get things right before you get bedded in.”

In the East of Scotland Qualifying Cup, Hawick Royal Albert take on Heriot-Watt University. Coldstream meet Kelso United and Peebles Rovers line up against Duns.