Easthouses move to the Juniors

EASTHOUSES COMMUNITY
EASTHOUSES COMMUNITY

Easthouses Lily are relishing “exciting times”, after the club rejoined the Juniors set-up after nearly 50 years away from the grade.

The club will start next season in the South Division, the third tier of the East Region Junior League, having become frustrated with life in the East of Scotland League.

The Newbattle Complex side’s manager David McQueenie is confident his team can succeed in Junior football.

He said: “We decided that we needed a new challenge, with the Lowland League taking away certain better sides from the East of Scotland League, and we got wind of the East of Scotland set-up going to one league.

“So we just thought it was a better option for us to go Junior.

“The big pull for us is the Scottish Junior Cup and the other cups, as hopefully we get some big draws and local derbies.

“It also gives us something to aim for. We start in the South League, so if we get promoted from that into the Premier League where Dalkeith Thistle and Arniston Rangers are just now, it would give us some local derbies.

“This way we will get more publicity and bigger crowds.

“We have played a lot of good Junior sides in friendlies in the past and we have always held our own.

“So there is no fear on our part. I have a squad of players here that can do well in the Juniors.”

Easthouses Lily, who recently became a community club, had become frustrated with Senior football.

McQueenie added:“It’s exciting times becoming a community club and this new challenge gives us something to aim for. The players now have something to strive towards.

“We were very close to winning the East of Scotland Premier League last season, losing out on goal difference.

“But even if we had won it there would have been nowhere to go from that despite the new (SFA) pyramid structure, as the criteria is killing the Lowland League.

“They want clubs to spend thousands and thousands. We have spent money and we have good facilities but they are still not good enough for the Lowland League.

“In the Juniors we have the facilities needed.

“The criteria requirements from the SFA just seem to be getting bigger and bigger.”

Easthouses Lily, formed in 1950, were a Junior side until the club folded in 1965. A brief return to Junior football followed before the club re-formed in 1969 as a Senior side, joining the East of Scotland League in 1981.