THE junior football season returns on Saturday and three West Fife clubs will be battling to improve their fortunes.

With Super League champions Kelty Hearts now playing in the East of Scotland League set-up, Crossgates Primrose, Oakley United and Rosyth will carry the junior flag and they will all go head-to-head in this season’s South Division.

Press Sport cast an eye over each club’s pre-season preparations as they get set for this weekend’s big kick-off.

Crossgates Primrose

The new team in charge at Crossgates Primrose are hopeful that some older heads can help them improve on last season.

Alan and Ally Campbell, sons of former Pars player, coach and current Arbroath number two Ian, were appointed as the club’s new management team in May after they parted company with previous boss Andy Brown.

Crossgates have also signed players like former Cowdenbeath midfielder Mark Ramsay, ex-Lochgelly Albert and Oakley United forward Andy Watt and Hill of Beath Hawthorn midfielder Dale Allan, and Ally commented: “It’s pretty much a brand new squad.

“It’s more experienced and that’s maybe what we were lacking last season. We’ve had a really good pre-season but the only disappointment was Stephen Stark breaking his leg. That was very unfortunate.

“The guys have gelled together and there’s a team spirit there. We’ve not set any targets and won’t get too far ahead of ourselves, but everything’s been really positive.”

Oakley United

Oakley United boss Lee Richardson says that adding quality rather than quantity can help propel his team to a top-five finish in the South Division.

The Blairwood Park men recovered from a poor start under previous manager Craig Cowan to finish ninth last season under Richardson’s guidance and he believes that pushing towards the top end of the table is not beyond his side.

Pre-season arrivals include West Calder United goalkeeper Ross Wortley and Whitburn Juniors’ Wullie Gardner, and Richardson said: “We’ve brought in a bit more quality without quantity. I’ve signed eight players and I’m still looking for another two or three. We’re possibly going to run with a squad of 18.

“Pre-season has been quite positive; we drew 1-1 with Dundonald, beat Tullibody and then on Saturday we went up to Aberdeen to play a Super League team, Newburgh Thistle.

“We narrowly got beat but we played well in the second half and it was good for team bonding. A couple of the new signings showed up well and the guys have been flying in terms of their fitness.

“We’re going to give it a good go. I hope we can finish in the top five but it’s possible we could get into the top three.”


Rosyth rounded off pre-season with a defeat on Sunday but boss Barry Cockburn can reflect on a successful summer ahead of the big kick-off.

The Recreation Park outfit played two games in two days at the weekend and, after beating Vale of Clyde on Saturday, they lost 4-1 to Cowdenbeath’s under-20s side.

Ahead of that double-header, Rosyth got the better of Cupar Hearts, Lochore Welfare and Inverurie club Colony Park with a squad that features a number of new additions, including former Crossgates man Dale Prattis, and Whitehill Welfare’s Scott Russell.

Cockburn said: “A defeat in our last pre-season match was the first time the boys have tasted defeat in a while.

“We know as a group we should have done better but one defeat doesn’t undo the progression the boys have made so far in pre-season and, if anything, they will learn from this.

“No-one likes the taste of a defeat and we will look to bounce back stronger so we are ready for Armadale.”

Saturday’s fixtures (kick-offs 2.30pm): South Division – Livingston United v Crossgates Primrose, Oakley United v Edinburgh United, Rosyth v Armadale Thistle.