Scourie entering North Caledonian League ‘massive boost’ for football in North West Sutherland
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SCOURIE FC being accepted into the North Caledonian League next season is a massive boost for football in North-West Sutherland.
That is the view of manager Tony Reynoldson, after their bid to join the North Caledonian Football Association was approved.
The club, along with fellow newcomers Loch Ness and Nairn County A, officially became members of the association and will play in the 2020/21 campaign.
Reynoldson (62) is delighted they have been given the chance to bring senior football to an area where it did not exist before.
“This is massive for the area,” he said.
“There is no winter football played in this area all the way down the west coast.
“The nearest place is Thurso which is over two hours away and the nearest place south is probably Kyle of Lochalsh.
“So it is a massive thing for this area.”
Reynoldson is manager of Kinlochbervie who play in the North West Sutherland League which has not been able to kick off this summer due to the coronavirus pandemic.
It is expected players from that squad will feature for Scourie as well as players from Durness, Gairloch, Scourie and Ullapool and throughout the west coast.
For one season only, the North Caledonian League will be split into two divisions.
Scourie along with fellow newcomers Loch Ness and Nairn County A, will play in Division Two, with Alness United, who are returning to the league after a year’s abeyance and last season’s bottom three NCL sides, Inverness Athletic, Bunillidh Thistle and Bonar Bridge.
The top six sides in the NCL last season, Invergordon, Thurso, Golspie Sutherland, St Duthus, Orkney and Halkirk United will play in Division One.
It is hoped that the two leagues will be merged into one again for the 2021/22 campaign.
Reynoldson supported the decision to divide the league into two due to the impact of Covid-19 and thinks it will be a good way to introduce themselves into senior football.
“I think it will be a good thing for clubs to give them a chance to bed themselves in before taking the better sides on. But the uncertainty of when the season can start also makes it a sensible decision.”
Despite being the smallest village in the North Caledonian League, Reynoldson believes Scourie will be embraced by the area and will have a big support.
“We have had a lot of congratulations from the community and people have stopped me on the street and wanted to talk to me about it,” he said.
“The main thing in the first season is to be competitive and then take things from there. The average age of the side is 21.
“It is a young side, but they should grow into the league then in three years’ time we should be aiming for mid-table or above.”