Dalkeith Thistle have applied to join the East of Scotland League for next season with a SFA club licence application to follow soon, the club have confirmed.
The East Premier League outfit who are currently in 12th place, believe the move is “progressive” and will ultimately allow the club to compete in the Scottish Cup and provide access to the football league pyramid, should their applications be successful.
The East of Scotland Football League is in the sixth level of the football pyramid, is on a par with the South of Scotland league and can provide a pathway to the Lowland League. The 12 member clubs will vote at a general meeting in February to decide whether or not to admit Dalkeith Thistle to the league for next season.
John Greenhorn, President of the East of Scotland League, said: “Everything is in place, it is a well established club. It is hard to see why they would not be admitted but I can’t second guess the rest of the member clubs.”
The move follows former Junior side Kelty Hearts who switched from the East Superleague to the East of Scotland league for this season after winning the Superleague. Kelty have won 13 out of 13 league games.
Dalkeith chairman Barclay Ewing believes the switch would be a great opportunity for the club.
He said: “To compete in the EoS and potentially earn the right to play in the Lowland League is a really attractive move for us.
“To enter the pyramid and have so many opportunities to progress as a club is exciting. We have players at the club with EoS experience and they are equally as ambitious about taking our first steps in another association and playing at that level again.”
Thistle manager Kevin Haynes said: “Personally I’ve loved playing, coaching and now managing in the Juniors, but I do feel that we can go further in another structure. From a playing perspective, it will allow us to give the kids in the community club’s youth pathway an opportunity to play in the Development League and play at a good level.”