Borders sides kick off new season in League Cup

THE East of Scotland footballing season is set to kick off, starting with the League Cup competition, writes John Slorance.

Most teams are in action this coming Saturday, but Selkirk are early birds as they are in action tonight, playing Berwick Rangers Reserves away from home.

For the Souters have another date on Saturday – a glamour friendly against a Celtic XI at Yarrow Park – but missing from the line-up for tonight’s encounter is defender Jason Inglis.

Inglis told TheSouthern: “I am beginning a two-match suspension so it’s some way for me to start the season.

“Jamie Gibson, Jamie Higgenbottom, Lee Steven and Barry Miller are also suspended, it’s just unbelievable.

“We are a bit under strength but we have some new boys in the squad and we will be hoping to do well.”

Gala Fairydean hit the road to take on league newcomers Burntisland Shipyard on Saturday.

Fairies’ manager Fraser Lothian said: “We know absolutely nothing about Burntisland Shipyard, so it’s a trip into the unknown for us. With this being their first game they will be wanting to prove themselves but we just don’t know what to expect.

“Our pre-season games have gone okay, we have played some top opposition and we are ready to go, so who knows?”

Fairydean have Jay Wilson suspended and Grant Gass is unavailable.

Kelso United have team concerns for their home encounter with Edinburgh University.

Tweedsiders boss Prof Blaikie told us: “Alan Tait, who plays for us, is getting married and three of our players, Steven Tait, Damien McNulty and John McCutcheon are going to the wedding.

“We also have Stuart Harker and Jordan Lauder missing. I have signed some new guys, though, and will have a decent squad.

“Edinburgh University are a Premier Division club and a very good side. However, we are inclined to play better against the better teams.”

Hawick Royal Albert entertain Whitehill Welfare at Albert Park.

The Albert have a crop of new signings within their ranks and player/manager Lawrie Dunn told us: “There are a lot of new boys in the squad and most of last season’s guys as well, so we have a big pool.

“Everybody will be getting game time during the League Cup as the competition is a great chance to prepare for the Scottish Cup and the League which are of more importance to us.

“Whitehill are a top side, but win, lose or draw, we will give them a game.

Hawick are without Kris O’Neil and Craig Beattie. New signing Peter Keenan from Preston Athletic is also missing due to injury.

Peebles Rovers have to wait until Wednesday, August 8 for their first game, when they tackle Edinburgh University. It should have been a home match for Rovers, but as Whitestone Park has drainage problems, it has been switched to Edinburgh.

Indeed, the Peebles ground could be unplayable for some time and Rovers could perhaps be playing some games at Walkerburn Rugby Club’s ground.

Peebles have six new faces in their line-up for their meetings with the students.

Vale of Leithen are also in action for the first time on Wednesday, hosting Ormiston at Victoria Park.