Wands and PSA harbour quiet confidence ahead of semi-junior season

THE two Teri clubs in the semi-junior league are optimistic of a successful year as the new season starts this weekend.

Hawick Wanderers and Hawick PSA are plunged into action tomorrow as part of the 12-team Borders-centric league that will take them to as far afield as Tynedale (Berwick) to the east, Peebles to the north, and Langholm to the south.

Wands, who finished fifth last season and won the Langholm Colts Sevens three weeks ago, have an experienced squad of players, many of whom are in their final year at that level.

“We’re looking forward to this season,” said Jim Hay, the club’s head coach. “We have a healthy squad, with a lot of the same players from last year.”

Hay has set his charges the simple aim of finishing higher than last season and finishing in the top third of the table.

“When I took over in October last year we were second bottom, but we finished fifth from 12 teams,” said Hay. “The boys needed a bit of confidence and organisation. I don’t want to put any undue pressure on them – it’s just a case of getting them to gel and click together.”

At Burnfoot, PSA president Billy McCracken is hoping for as many as possible injury-free weekends for his club’s modestly-sized squad.

McCracken said: “We’ve probably got 21 if everyone is there, but with a couple of injuries we might be found out. We’ll hope to do as we have in recent years, to do as well as we can with a small squad. Kirk Ford, our captain, is a talented player, and hopefully the boys can feed off him.”

McCracken predicts that his side, who open their account at Peebles tomorrow, will prove a match for anyone at home. “I would like to think we could hold our own up at Burnfoot,” he said, “and hopefully we can pick up some points away, too.”

Wands play Jed Thistle at Volunteer Park, tomorrow, kick off 3pm. Match sponsor is Hawick Cashmere and the tea sponsor Hutton the butcher.