Basement boys Vale of Leithen confident of staying in football's Lowland League

Vale of Leithen are “99 per cent confident” they’ll still be playing in the Scottish Lowland Football League next season, they say.

Thursday, 22nd April 2021, 1:23 pm
Updated Thursday, 22nd April 2021, 1:23 pm
Vale of Leithen's Levi Kinchant dodges a Heston Rovers challenge. Photo: Bill McBurnie

The Innerleithen outfit finished bottom of the heap for the second term in a row when the 2020-21 season was wrapped up last month on a points-per-game basis, largely because of the long-term effects of Covid-19 restrictions.

Their league statistics made even more gloomy reading than the previous season’s, with zero points after 12 defeats from 12 games played and only five goals scored for the loss of 58.

However, the fact the next tier down, the East of Scotland Football League, last week pronounced its 2020-21 season null and void, with no champions declared, means the Victoria Park side look set to beat the drop for the second season running.

The club’s vice-chairman, John Anderson, said Vale had still to hear officially but they were very confident they would remain in the Lowland League.

A recent statement on Vale’s website indicated they would be eager to rebuild and meet the challenge of football next season wherever they end up.

“We are obviously preparing for next season and preparations don’t change,” said Anderson. “We’re 99 per cent sure we will be in the Lowland League, but nothing in life is ever guaranteed, especially in football.”

Should there be any move to instigate relegation, it would have to be ratified by the Scottish Football Association and Vale would lodge an appeal, but Anderson said they are confident things will not come to that.

The club intend to start pre-season training at the end of May and manager Chris Anderson, John’s brother, has been talking to players he wants to retain from last year and is looking to bring some new faces in.

John Anderson added that pre-season friendlies will hopefully be arranged, depending on regulations and conditions.

Vale had earlier criticised the Lowland League for ending the season on points per game, saying it was agreed at the start of the season that null and void would be the verdict if the season had to finish with less than half of games played.