Junior club Dalkeith Thistle aim to follow in the footsteps of Kelty Hearts by joining the East of Scotland League and become part of the pyramid system from next season.
The King’s Park outfit have announced they have submitted their application to join the set-up, in a brave and ambitious move with the long-term hope that they can one day call themselves a league club.
Formerly of the Juniors, Kelty – the Super League champions last season – joined the East of Scotland League and are currently 11 points clear at the top of the table.
Dalkeith manager Kevin Haynes, feels the Premier League club would be moving at the right time should their application be successful. An application to become an SFA licensed club is also nearing completion and will be sent off in the coming months.
“We’ve applied and we’ve had a meeting with the East of Scotland committee, who are keen to get us in,” said Haynes.
“I think we’ve just surprised a few folk that it’s not one of the big boys moving again.
“The timing is just right for us. The committee have worked so hard on behind-the-scenes stuff with slight ground improvements and trying to get more people through the gate to get more money into the club. They have tried to generate a real belief from the community. We’ve been building towards this for a good wee while. The long-term plan was always to get into the pyramid system. It will also 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 within their own local club.”
Former Berwick Rangers striker Haynes believes the move would also save the club cash in the long term. He added: “The Juniors has been good to me – I’ve played a lot of my time in the Juniors, I’ve coached in the Juniors and I now manage in the Juniors, and I really, really like the Juniors. There’s only three stages you can go, though. For us to get into the Super League it would take a lot more money than what we actually have, then we’d have to spend even more to stay in the Super League.”