Home   Sport   Article

New Dingwall amateur club 'frozen out' after associations in Inverness and Sutherland refuse entry

By Niall Harkiss

Register for free to read more of the latest local news. It's easy and will only take a moment.

Click here to sign up to our free newsletters!

The manager of a recently formed amateur football club in Dingwall said he feels "disappointed" over the outcome of a meeting in Lairg on Sunday, after their application to join the North-west Sutherland amateur league was refused.

Mallard FC had already been refused entry to the Inverness & District amateur league.

New club Mallard AFC all smiles for a team photo, but were left bitterly disappointed after their application to join the North-west Sutherland league was rejected.
New club Mallard AFC all smiles for a team photo, but were left bitterly disappointed after their application to join the North-west Sutherland league was rejected.


Reasons of excessive travel were deemed the main barrier to their involvement in the Sutherland setup, while ongoing work to revamp the pitches and facilities at Bught Park put the brakes on their entry to the Inverness league.

The club could now face a summer without a football league to compete in.

Co-manager of Mallard FC, Liam Watson said: "You can imagine how we are feeling after yesterday's meeting with north-west Sutherland league teams voting against us entering the league.

"We were rejected due to geographical issues. This was after an offer of a sponsorship of a cup and an explanation of our recent history and how proud we are of all the work that’s gone into providing Dingwall with a new amateur team. Unfortunately now two associations have refused to give us the chance to prove what a great addition we would be to any amateur league.

"To be honest, we are more disappointed with the Inverness & District Amateur League, for not giving the 14 teams on the waiting list more of a heads up that there were to be no new teams gaining entry to the league due to pitches being renovated.

"We need to start pushing for the return of a Ross-shire-based amateur league. Getting it back up and running is something we would certainly be for as we are Dingwall based.

"We have one more option for this season and won’t know until end of the week."

At the meeting, a total of 11 teams were represented from Ross and Sutherland.

Ally Macleod was re-elected as chair for the new campaign, alongside Hugh Morrison as league secretary.

Members agreed to form a single league for 2024, opting to move away from last year's two-division format.

It was determined that teams shall play each other once before a split occurs, dividing the league in two for a final round of games.

Existing member clubs Brora Wanderers, Golspie Stafford, Helmsdale United, Inver, Lairg Rovers, Lochbroom, Lochinver, Melvich and Tain Thistle were all confirmed as participants for this year.

Last season's League 2 runners-up Invergordon Social Club opted not to enter a team for the 2024 season.

The association also welcomed Embo back into the fold, while Dornoch City, still to finalise their application, have been given time before their participation is confirmed.

A date of April 6 has been pencilled in for the start of the season, which will begin with the first round of the Stafford Cup.

It is anticipated that the Mackay Cup will be played for at the end of the season.

Do you want to respond to this article? If so, click here to submit your thoughts and they may be published in print.

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies - Learn More