‘Shippy’ are welcomed into East of Scotland League

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BURNTISLAND Shipyard will make the step up to semi-professional football next season after making a successful application to join the East of Scotland League.

The Recreation Park club was accepted into the East of Scotland set-up at the association’s AGM and will compete in next season’s First Division. Duns will be one of the first teams to take them on as the two sides have been drawn in the same section of the Qualifying League Cup which gets underway on Saturday, August 4.

The ‘Shippy’ have been playing amateur football in Fife since 1959, most recently in the Kingdom Caledonian League, where they finished last season in sixth place.

However, the committee decided a move was necessary in order to safeguard the club’s status as a full member of the Scottish Football Association – a title which ensures them of a place in the Scottish Cup each season.

Andrew Beveridge, club secretary, explained: “We were visited by the club licensing department of the SFA last September and told that our facilities were not up to scratch.

“They were impressed with the way the club was run and structured but indicated that we should be moving to a higher standard in order to receive grants to improve our facilities.

“The club wants to keep its SFA membership and although there was no direct threat made to remove that, reading between the lines we decided it was time to move and the East of Scotland League was the obvious choice. It’s a new chapter for the club and we’re looking forward to it.”

Burntisland have been drawn in Section B of the Qualifying Cup along with Duns, Edinburgh City, Tynecastle and Borders rivals Gala Fairydean.

Eyemouth United are drawn in Section A along with Whitehill Welfare, Lothian Thistle, Selkirk, Hawick Royal Albert and Berwick Rangers Reserves.

Coldstream are in Section C and will face Spartans, Vale of Leithen, Heriot Watt University and Ormiston.

The draw for first two rounds of the Image Printers Cup has also been made. In the first round Coldstream are at home to Ormiston, Duns are at home to Whitehill Welfare and Eyemouth United entertain Tynecastle at Warner Park.

In the second round the winners of Coldstream and Ormiston are away to either Duns or Whitehill while Eyemouth or Tynecastle will be at home to Lothian Thistle.