Spartans boss sends best wishes to former tenants FC Edinburgh ahead of Meadowbank league opener

Spartans boss Dougie Samuel says his club were only happy to help FC Edinburgh by having them at Ainslie Park as the cinch League One side prepare for the first league match back at Meadowbank.

The Capital’s third SPFL club – named Edinburgh City until a moniker change this summer – will take on Dunfermline Athletic at the newly renovated stadium this Saturday. They moved back to their former home this summer after five years playing in the north of the city.

During that time they were able to consolidate themselves in League Two before pushing for promotion, which they earned at the end of last season with a play-off final victory over Annan Athletic.

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Samuel is thrilled at Edinburgh’s success as he hopes to emulate their achievements with Spartans seeking promotion from the Lowland League this campaign.

Edinburgh City (now FC Edinburgh) played at Ainslie Park, home of Spartans, for five years starting in 2017. Picture: SNS

“Of course I wish them all the best,” he told the Evening News. “It was great to be in a position to be able to help them. I think people forget that. It would have been easy for us to say 'no' but I'd like to think in the same position they would've helped us.

“Sometimes we're guilty of being too narrow-minded, but I think it's good for Scottish football and good for us to see clubs going up through the pyramid and doing well.

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“I'd like to think they enjoyed playing here and, if you look at their record, they could say it was a happy hunting ground for them.”

“We want to follow in their footsteps. We want to win the Lowland League and gain promotion. You look at them, Kelty, Cove, it's great for the Scottish game. Good luck to them.”

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There have been concerns about Edinburgh fans around the suitability of Meadowbank with a small stand stretching across one side of the field, separated from the pitch by a running track, though the club are working to install a stand on the opposite side.

“It'll take a year or two before they can make their mark and it'll feel like home, but there's something special about having your own home,” said Samuel. “Whilst you can pretend it's your home and you can put up signs and posters and do your best, people knew they were down at Spartans."

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