‘Real stuff’ for Royal Albert

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Hawick Royal Albert kick off their campaign with this afternoon’s East of Scotland League Cup clash against Peebles at Whitestone Park (2.30pm), writes John Slorance.

Undefeated in their pre-season friendlies – having drawn with Lowland League sides Preston Athletic and Gala Fairydean Rovers, as well as drawing with Edinburgh amateur outfit Salters, and defeating Hawick United – the Albert go into the Peebles tie with confidence.

Speaking of matters, Royalists’ manager Mike Atai told the Hawick News: “We did well in our pre-season friendly games, especially the draws with Preston and Gala, but it’s the real stuff on Saturday against Peebles.

“Friendly games are fine but the match against Peebles will be a different kind of game completely.

“However, the league cup gives us the opportunity to work out new formations and get players settled in before the league starts.”

Atai is happy with the signings the Albert have made, most of whom are young players who will be playing East of Scotland football for the first time. He added: “We’re building up a good strong squad and although it’s going to take a lot of hard work, I think Hawick could do quite well this season.”

Following their match with Peebles, Royalists entertain Craigroyston at Albert Park on Tuesday night (7.45pm) in their second league cup tie.

Lothian Thistle/Hutchison Vale are also in the Albert’s section.