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North Caledonian League hoping for October start

By Will Clark

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THE North Caledonian Football Association says it is hopeful that it can start its season in mid-October.

Ben Bruce scored two late goals for St Duthus. Picture: Graeme Webster
Ben Bruce scored two late goals for St Duthus. Picture: Graeme Webster

But league president Iain Whitehead says they can’t fix a date for competition to begin until given the green light to do so by the Scottish Football Association.

The Scottish Government has given the go-ahead for outdoor contact sport for all ages to resume from August 24.

The Premiership kicked off last week, with the Championship, League One and League Two set to start on October 17.

However, no start dates have been set for non-league competitions in Scotland yet, including the North Caledonian League as well as the Highland League.

Ross-shire has three teams in the North Caledonian League, including Invergordon, St Duthus and Alness United who are returning after a year’s abeyance.

Whitehead says the North Caledonian League wants to start in mid-October but says they have to wait for approval from the SFA.

“We are expecting to maybe get the go-ahead at the same time as Highland League,” said Whitehead.

“We hope that we can start in mid-October. With restrictions being lifted, we are hoping that teams will be able to start training soon. But in terms of starting the league, we’ve not heard anything official.

“Mid-October is our hope, but the next month will determine if that is viable or not.

Last week, SHFL secretary Rod Houston said the Highland League were still looking at a date when it will be able to start its 2020/21 campaign.

For one season only, the North Caledonian League will be split into two divisions next season due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Despite last season being ruled null and void, the teams that were in the top six positions before the campaign was scrapped will play in Division One.

Invergordon and St Duthus will play in Division One with Golspie Sutherland, Halkirk United, Orkney and Thurso.

Alness are in Division Two with Bonar Bridge, Bunillidh, Inverness Athletic, Loch Ness, Nairn County under-20’s and Scourie.

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