Grant Sandison relishing 'huge challenge' as new Vale of Leithen boss

Grant Sandison admits he has taken on a “huge challenge” after being named as the new head coach of Lowland League strugglers Vale of Leithen.

By Phil Johnson
Monday, 18th October 2021, 12:16 pm
Updated Monday, 18th October 2021, 1:09 pm
Vale of Leithen lost 11-0 at Berwick Rangers in their latest outing and are pointless at the bottom of the Lowland League. Picture: Alan Bell
Vale of Leithen lost 11-0 at Berwick Rangers in their latest outing and are pointless at the bottom of the Lowland League. Picture: Alan Bell

But after leaving Penicuik Athletic Under-20s along with assistant Ryan Brady to take charge of the league’s whipping boys, the Uefa B license coach believes the only way is up.

Vale’s woeful plight came to a head in recent weeks when they lost 13-0 to Bonnyrigg Rose and 11-0 to Berwick Rangers, leaving them pointless at the bottom of the table after 15 games, with just five goals scored and 96 conceded. The Innerleithen side have not won a home match for three years.

“I don’t underestimate the challenges that lie ahead, however I’m very excited to get started and aim to get the Vale back to the level the club should be at,” said Sandison, who was previously U-20s head coach and first-team assistant at Whitehill Welfare but is now managing at first-team level for the first time.

Grant Sandison is Vale of Leithen's new head coach

He has wasted no time in his bid to kickstart Vale’s revival by bringing in a host of new players to strengthen a threadbare and inexperienced squad.

Coaches Aki Munro and Ryan Bisset, who have been in caretaker charge since previous boss Chris Anderson resigned in September, will be staying on too.

They will be joined by Brady, who played at Hearts, Falkirk, Berwick and Arthurlie before a spells as head coach of Edinburgh University U-20s and assistant at Penicuik U-20s.

Sandison’s first game in charge is away to Edinburgh University at Peffermill on Saturday.