Melrose youth football club drawing up expansion plans as membership tops 200

A fast-growing Borders youth team are drawing up expansion plans to enable them to accommodate the number of youngsters joining up.

By Darin Hutson
Monday, 6th September 2021, 8:48 am
Leaderdale and Melrose councillor David Parker with players for the launch of the town youth team's new kit
Leaderdale and Melrose councillor David Parker with players for the launch of the town youth team's new kit

Melrose Football Club now have more than 200 players on their books, more than 60 of them girls, so they’re looking at having new changing rooms built at their Gibson Park base to help them cope with that demand.

Ahead of that prospective expansion, the club have unveiled a new-look kit designed by two of their players, Tom McLean, six, and Archie Yuill, 11.

Their design was picked from more than 30 entries as part of a competition open to all players.

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The yellow-and-black kit is sponsored by CGI, Palmer Campbell, PMGD, Ferguson Planning and the Italian Job Barber, with Scottish Borders Council also offering support.

On top of that, Selkirk firm Heard Hamilton Financial Planning have paid for warm-up tops for the club’s under-14s boys’ team, newly promoted to South East Region Youth Football Association League One for the first time.

An extension is being proposed at the old Melrose fire station at Gibson Park to accommodate the extra changing facilities required, and facilities officer Claire Ramsey and treasurer Alasdair Wright are currently overseeing that project.

Club chairman Greg Simpson said: “It has been a difficult year for football, with Covid hitting training, matches and finances.

“As a football club rooted in the community, amazing local support has kept us afloat and is now propelling us to new heights.

“The community-funded all-weather pitch at the Greenyards means we can now play football all year round and in the dark winter evenings too.

“Thanks to our new sponsors and support from the council, that future is looking bright.

“The new kit designed by our players is breathtaking, and I can’t wait to see our boys and girls taking to the pitch.”

Leaderdale and Melrose councillor David Parker was invited along to the launch of the new kit and he said: “The achievements of the football club have been tremendous and it is great to see so many young people playing football in the Melrose area.

“The club’s ambitious plans to improve their facilities are very welcome news, and I’m delighted that the new 3G pitch investment is having a positive impact for young people of all ages and ability.

“Melrose’s new kit is very striking and all the young people, coaches and volunteers who make the club so vibrant should be very proud of their achievements on and off the field.”