Gretna 'hope to do the East League proud'

Published: 22 Jul 2008 12:000 comments

GRETNA will be playing in the East of Scotland first division this season.

The most talked about team in Scottish Football were admitted to the league last week to fill the gap left by Annan Athletic, who were voted in to the Scottish Third Division.

Gretna"s inclusion has led to Selkirk being promoted back up to the Premier League to give a balanced two leagues of twelve.

East League chairman Tom Allison told us: 'We lost an excellent club like Annan but have now gained an excellent club in Gretna.

'The clubs voted Gretna in and also for Selkirk to move back to the Premier League.'

Gretna will join other new boys Stirling University, who replaced Berwick Rangers Reserves, in the First Division.

And they will both face the likes of Gala Fairydean, Hawick Royal Albert and Vale of Leithen as they attempt to gain promotion.

Dean co-boss Bryan Templeton said: 'Gretna and Stirling Uni are both unknown to us and we will give them the respect I am sure they deserve.'

Gretna has severed ties with old Brooks Mileson regime who took the Raydale club to the Scottish Cup final and the Premier League - and also into liquidation.

And they will trade under the name of Gretna 2008 FC Ltd.

Chairman of the new Gretna club, Craig Williamson, told the Border Telegraph: 'We will always be grateful to the East of Scotland FA for giving us this chance to resurrect what had become a disaster - they listened to us sympathetically at their AGM.

'We want to take Gretna back to being a community club. Although there is a lot to learn we hope to do the East of Scotland proud.'

University of Cumbria football officer Stuart Rome has been appointed manager of Gretna and will make up the most of his new team from the reserve ranks of Workington Reds.

Mr Williamson added: 'The team at the moment is all under the age of 21 and come with Stuart from Workington Reserves. He is also looking at a few boys from around the Gretna area as well.'

Gretna will find out within the next fortnight if they can play at Raydale as the ground is being sold by administrators of the former regime on July 24.

And the new club hopes Dumfries and Galloway Council will purchase the facilities and pitch to allow them back.

During the interim period Gretna will play at Everhome in Annan, only a short walk from Athletic"s Galabank ground.

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