Faces new and old are set for the Netherdale fold

Craig Robertson
Craig Robertson

NEW faces from Peebles, Hawick, Langholm and Dumfries – as well as the return of former Gala players from Heriot’s and Hawick – will be in the Netherdale squad next season, writes Laing Speirs.

Gala’s promotion to Division 1 has opened the door for the return of Gregor Hunter from Goldenacre, with the likelihood that this coming winter he will get a good deal more first team rugby.

And Craig Robertson, the speedy winger who played for the Maroons two seasons ago, is returning from Hawick where he turned in some impressive performances.

They will be joined by Gary Lowrie, the Hawick back row man; hooker Russell Anderson of Langholm who played for the Scotland under-18 team; Chris Auld, the Dumfries midfield back who captained Scotland also at under-18 level; and Craig Borthwick, the impressive Peebles centre.

Gala’s reappointed team manager Harry Keddie said that the club had lost no fewer than six players who had all moved to Australia and it was necessary to rebuild the playing strength of the squad.

Gala’s retiring president, Colin Playfair, whose two-year stint ended last Wednesday, told an extraordinary meeting of the club that the coaching staff of George Graham and Scott Nichol would again be in charge. New president at Netherdale will be George Marshall, with Scott Dalgleish taking over as vice-president. The work of Ian Miller as rugby development officer was acknowledged at the meeting, including the organisation of many activities relating to the development of interest in the sport among Galashiels youngsters.

Honorary treasurer Andrew Wayness, who will give a full financial statement to the club’s annual general meeting in August, said that the structure of the leagues, together with the severe weather conditions at the end of the year, did not help the club’s financial position.

He noted the decline in the number of visiting supporters at Netherdale games, a feature common throughout Scotland.

Several new members of the management committee were co-opted, and Duncan and Helen Scott will continue as joint honorary secretaries.

The success of the other teams in the town was noted at last week’s meeting, including the achievement of Gala YM in gaining promotion to East League Division 1 and Gala 2nds who narrowly missed going up.

The work done at all levels in Galashiels was acknowledged by the members, who were given an outline of the plans to improve facilities at Netherdale.

John Gray’s name was added to the list of the club’s honorary vice-presidents.