HAWICK Royal Albert are bracing themselves for a tough test against Heart of Midlothian next Friday night (July 12).
The Scottish Premier League outfit have been hitting the headlines for all the wrong reasons of late and have been plunged into administration, but it’s a friendly enounter which Royalists’ secretary/treasurer Dougie Purves is relishing.
Speaking to the Hawick News earlier this week, he said: “Hearts will be sending down quite a strong side, and we’ve heard that manager Gary Locke will be accompanying them.
“It’s a good game for the Albert, and the club is hoping it will attract a big crowd.”
The match kicks off at 7.30pm.
When the forthcoming season gets under way the Albert will have new league opponents in the green and white shirts of Hibernian.
The Edinburgh club is fielding a colts side in the East of Scotland set-up, and the young guns will face Royalists in the first division.
With nine clubs, including Gala Fairydean, Selkirk and Vale of Leithen, having quit the East of Scotland for the newly-formed Lowland League, the first division will consist of eleven clubs this season, while there will be eleven in the premier league.
Meanwhile, the Albert have started pre-season training, with team boss Graeme Chadwick yet to announce any new signings.
However, it is believed that there is going to be an injection of fresh blood within the Albert Park ranks.
Looking ahead to the new campaign, Chadwick told the Hawick News: “We’ll miss the derby games against Gala Fairydean and Selkirk, but there are still a few Borders teams for us to play against.
“It looks like it’s going to be a very competitive league.”
Chadwick added: “We’re going to have several new boys in the squad, and we’ll be looking to do a lot better than we have in past seasons.”