Royal Albert abandon move to play u-19 team in Border Amateur

PLANS by Hawick Royal Albert to field a team in the Border Amateur ‘C’ Division have been scrapped.

The club’s application to run a young side for the forthcoming season – known as HRA 19 – was accepted at the recent Border Amateur Association’s annual general meeting. But after talks between Albert officials and officials from Hawick Legion, the proposals have been withdrawn.

Legion secretary Dave McLean said: “Apart from youth football doing well, last season was a very poor one for Hawick’s clubs.

“Due to the poor state of football in the town, Royal Albert held a meeting with all the amateur clubs to discuss various issues. This meeting was quite constructive, but since then there’s been no more communication between the clubs so everything appeared to be just the way it was.

“Then it came about that Royal Albert had applied to put a more or less Under-19 side into the Border Amateur League as this would be a pathway between youth football and Border Amateur football.

“However, Hawick Legion Rovers are already bridging that gap. A lot of the Rovers players are young and are involved in youth football, so the link is already there.

“If there was to be another young team in the Border Amateur League there is a chance that the Rovers squad could be diluted as there are just not enough players.

“Because of this there was a fear that the Rovers, who have been going for years and years, could fold.”

Mr McLean suggested that the Albert introduce their side into the East of Scotland Under-19 League, who play on a Sunday.

But Royal Albert chairman Graeme Paxton conceded the whole idea was now dead in the water.

He said: “Hawick Legion have come to us and stated that they might lose players from the Rovers if this proposal went ahead and that they could fold. So we have decided to stand down.”

With a number of new faces, Paxton said the Albert were now concentrating on the new campaign, starting with a pre- season game against First Division Falkirk on Sunday, July 17.