Lothian quits Gala but calls for investment

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DEPARTING manager Fraser Lothian has called for more investment at Gala Fairydean if the club is to return to the top of East of Scotland football, write Kenny Paterson and John Slorance.

Lothian cited work and personal commitments as the reasons behind his decision to quit the Netherdale side on Monday, two days after Gala exited the Scottish Cup at Irvine Meadow.

He told TheSouthern: “I was struggling to give 100 per cent to the club. The Gala job does not pay my wages and I was struggling to give time to training.

“It was nothing to do with the results. The players have already proved they are capable of getting promotion.

“I still think to compete with the top Edinburgh teams there has to be more spending. I know the club are trying to generate investment, but it is difficult in the current recession.”

Assistant coach Ally McCulloch has also stood down, but will continue to help the under-19s until a new management team is found.

Lothian added: “I spent 13 years as a player at Gala and three-and-a-half years as manager. The club is in my blood.

“I have to thank Ally who has helped me from day one, as well as [previous coach] Garry Fraser, whose coaching is second to none.”

The club’s committee held a meeting last night (Wednesday) to discuss potential targets.

Chairman Jos Ritchie told us: “The last thing we want to do is panic. We have a number of decent senior players who can take the team in the immediate future until we make the right appointment. I still think Gala Fairydean has enough of a standing in footballing circles which means we don’t have to chase people to take the job.”

The Dean travel to Duns in the First Division this Saturday, but elsewhere the main talking point was the Scottish Cup second round draw, which pitted Selkirk at home to Vale of Leithen.

Selkirk manager Mike McKinnon said: “I was at the draw and actually standing next to Vale manager Fraser Ogilvie when it was being made.

“We couldn’t believe it when Selkirk and Vale came out together. It should be some game and hopefully it will attract a big crowd.”

Ogilvie added: “It’s quite incredible that two Borders sides should be drawn together and I hope a lot of Borderers will come and watch the game. Obviously I am hoping it is going to be us but either way a Borders club is going to be playing in the third round of the Scottish Cup.”

Vale play Edinburgh University in the Premier Division on Saturday. In the First Division, Selkirk entertain Leith Athletic, Hawick Royal Albert are minus the suspended Ronald Fleming for their home clash with Craigroyston, Peebles Rovers travel to Eyemouth United and Kelso United host Berwick Rangers Reserves.