East of Scotland League: Heriot-Watt title contenders but boss remains coy

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Although you won’t hear the manager himself admit it, Banji Koya’s Heriot-Watt University side are genuine contenders for the East of Scotland League title this season.

The students host champions and league leaders Leith Athletic at Riccarton tomorrow in what promises to be an intriguing match-up between the city rivals.

Koya’s men, who are just two points adrift of their opponents and could reclaim top spot with a win this weekend, have already beaten the likes of Tynecastle and Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale this term. Leith do, however, have three games in hand.

Koya, though, has consistently played down his side’s chances of being involved in a title race this season.

“I’ve never thought of us being in the mix,” he said.

“Our main aim is just to have enough players fit each week. We’re confident but the only issue we’ve got at the Uni just now is the amount of games we’re playing. The guys are playing Wednesday, Friday night and Saturday but we’re doing everything within our control to prepare the team the best we can.

“I’m not going to blame anything on fatigue, though. But what happens when we lose a few players to injury? Fortunately, we haven’t had that yet but that’s not to say it won’t happen. We’ll look at the table at the end of the April and see where we stand then.”

Whatever happens between now and the summer, Koya, who only took up the job nine months ago, is proud of his side’s achievements.

“It’s an interesting one for us tomorrow. We’ll need to nullify their threats and get our tactics right if we are to stand any chance. Leith are a very good side. But, whatever happens I can’t emphasise how proud I am of the players. I can’t say enough of the effort they’ve put in.”

Elsewhere, third-from-bottom Ormiston entertain Peebles Rovers at Recreation Park looking for just their fourth win of the campaign. Victory tomorrow for Richie Weir’s side would move the club to within four points of their opponents.