EASTHOUSES LILY manager Dave McQueenie is relishing the prospect of his newly-promoted side taking on reigning Premier Division champions Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale in Section A of the East of Scotland Qualifying League tomorrow.
Lily were pipped at the post by Hibs last season for the Central Taxis First Division title but a second-place finish was sufficient enough to secure promotion.
McQueenie’s men have been grouped with Kevin Twaddle’s outfit, Heriot Watt University and Hawick Royal Albert in Section B of the competition.
“We’ve had a good pre-season although we had a difficult match against Broxburn at Albyn Park last Thursday which we lost 4-0,” admitted McQueenie. “But that was a good test against Junior opposition and I’ve told the players we can expect the same level of physicality from teams in the Premier Division this season’
“We have a full squad of players to choose from with no real injury worries ahead of this weekend. We’re really looking forward to getting the season going again. Playing against the Premier Division champions is a great start for us. We’re looking to try and qualify from the section, whilst at the same time get our fitness levels up for the league campaign.”
Lily have brought midfielder Graeme Young back to the club after he spent last season at Dalkeith Thistle, and have also recruited Darren Robertson from Loanhead Miners Welfare.
“The priority for us will be to survive in the Premier this season because we’re newly promoted but the League Cup will give us a good indication of what level we’re at because we’re under no illusions that it’s a tough league we’re going into,” added McQueenie.
Kevin Twaddle, meanwhile, is still riding high on the crest of a wave following last season’s title success but is not underestimating the challenge Easthouses will pose for his side at Newbattle Complex tomorrow.
“I’ve got a lot of respect for Dave and the job he’s done at Easthouses.
“They will approach the game with no fear and with confidence,” says Twaddle.
In other matches, Heriot Watt travel to Hawick Royal Albert in an all-First Division tie. In Section A, Civil Service Strollers make the trip across the Forth to play Burntisland Shipyard and Spartans EOS travel to Eyemouth United. In Section D, Ormiston taking on Leith Athletic at Recreation Park.