Friendly fire at Albert Park

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Hawick Royal Albert are set to lock horns with Hawick United in tomorrow’s friendly which doubles as a derby match.

Both sides line up with a sea of fresh faces in their ranks, with Royalists, in particular, fielding a raft of new-
comers for the Albert Park encounter (kick-off 2.30pm).

Speaking of this, newly-installed Albert manager Mike Atai said: “There are a lot of new players from last season – it’s a completely different side.

“Most of the guys haven’t played East of Scotland League football before and they are looking forward to it.

“It will be an interesting game for us against Hawick United on Saturday and hopefully it will attract a big crowd”.

Among the players that have been fixed up is former signing Bobby Nwanze. Other new signings, all of whom hail from the Edinburgh area, are Alieu Bardara Faye, Ryan Stevenson, Lewis Mitchell, Kyle Rankin, Dale Urey, Mark McEwan, Robert Boyd, Sean Spence, Sam Campbell, Andy McKay, Fergus Lockhart and Michael Lynch.

Commenting on matters from United’s perspective, team boss Geo Shepherd said the Tangerines were hoping to spring a surprise win over the town’s senior side. “We’re gearing up for the new season and a game against the Albert will be a good test for us,” he said.

“The Albert will be the favourites but we’ll be giving it our best shot to cause an upset.

“We’ve brought in a few new boys in Ally Fanchi, Daniel Bolton, Euan Thomson, Ryan Shepherd, Declan Hogg and Aaron Swailes – and it’s a very decent squad that we’ve put together.

“For the past couple of seasons we’ve been the nearly team. The team that nearly did this and nearly did that. I want us to be known as the team that did do it this season.”