Community football venture in Selkirk is gathering support

Deacon of The Selkirk Incorporation of Hammermen, Alan Tough, hands over a �500 cheque at Yarrow Park to Ian Stephen, chairman of Selkirk Community Football Club, with members of the Selkirk Victoria and Junior football teams (picture by Grant Kinghorn)
Deacon of The Selkirk Incorporation of Hammermen, Alan Tough, hands over a �500 cheque at Yarrow Park to Ian Stephen, chairman of Selkirk Community Football Club, with members of the Selkirk Victoria and Junior football teams (picture by Grant Kinghorn)

Selkirk and its people are giving their support to the creation of a community football club in the town.

Six months or so on from the initial predictions at Ettrickhaugh Road, there is still plenty of confidence and ambition in the plan to bring the game back to the people and allow opportunities for home-grown players.

The venture was spawned by the disintegration of Selkirk FC, which sadly vanished from the Lowland League last year after being enveloped by crippling financial problems and a mass migration of players.

The Community Football Club will be an umbrella charity, with Selkirk Juniors and the town’s amateur squad, Selkirk Victoria, underneath.

It aims to secure grass-roots football for younger people and establish a visible sporting symbol for the town.

The junior and amateur line-ups have been greatly assisted by Selkirk’s cricket and rugby clubs over the use of facilities, for which they are very grateful.

A further indication that the community is behind them too came with a £500 donation – for which they are equally thankful – after this year’s Selkirk Common Riding.

Confirmation on a number of other important stages in the plan is still awaited but Selkirk CFC secretary Amanda Domin said a five-year business plan had been drawn up and the will of the people was very strong.

“It’s a totally clean slate and a separate organisation,” she said. “It’s a charity organisation with volunteers and trustess from the Vics and the Juniors too, and any other like-minded football folk can be trustees later or get involved down the line.

“It’s about making sure everybody knows grass-roots football is here, and here to stay, from pre-school to the Vics, and securing that going forward.

The backing from cricketing and rugby counterparts was “a credit to the town”, said Amanda. “Everybody pulled out the stops to help and ensure the footballers and clubs are continuing as they should be,” she added.

The aim was to be as transparent as possible, with everyone having a say and being a part of it, regardless of gender or ability.

“You can see from the drive of the people involved – and other Borders towns can see – we are coming on,” said Amanda. “What happened in the past has not left a black mark over us. With bad things, it’s about how you turn that round and progress, for the good of the community.”