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Joy for Highland Stags as Invergordon team are accepted to British League

By Andrew Henderson

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After years of trying, Highland Stags have finally been accepted into the British American Football Association leagues as a full member.

Highland Stags defeated the Dumfries Hunters to become Saltire Division Champions.
Highland Stags defeated the Dumfries Hunters to become Saltire Division Champions.

It seemed unlikely that anything could keep them out this time around after the Stags won the Saltire Division this summer as an associate member, proving that they were more than capable of competing with the already-established teams.

However, receiving confirmation was still a cause for celebration at the club.

“We got the news through and it’s absolutely fantastic,” defensive co-ordinator Billy Mill said.

“We will officially be in the league going forward now.

“It literally has been years in the making.

“We’ve been working towards this since 2016 I think, it has taken us that long.”

In recent years the Stags have been constantly trying to prove themselves.

They have had to show that the club is sustainable and not dependant on a single group of players, that they have a proper infrastructure and, most importantly, that they are at the standard required.

Every time they played it was essentially a test of the club, but now they no longer have to be concerned with that side of the equation in the back of their minds.

“It will be such a weight off – there will be no stress, no worrying if we will be back next year,” Mill admitted.

“It’s good that we’re in, because now we get a chance to defend the title.

“It will be great for recruitment as well. In the past we were never sure if we were going to be in the league, but now it’s confirmed we know we’re always going to have those games set out for us.

“It will be a lot more relaxed now – we can just enjoy playing without worrying about what happens at the end of it.”

With success in 2021, the Stags have nothing to fear.

They do not know exactly who they will be up against in the North Division Two yet, but they already know they can beat any of the Scottish teams which can only breed confidence.

“Right now the league is in a reshuffle, so we don’t know exactly,” Mill explained.

“They’re sorting out schedules, so hopefully we’ll hear soon about who our opponents will be.

“We’re assuming it will be the teams we had this year – Dunfermline, Clyde Valley and Dumfries – so we’ve got a lot to work on, but we’re definitely confident going into next season.”

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