Scourie team in bid to join North Caledonian League
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NORTH-west Sutherland could have a new football team in the North Caledonian League next season if their application is approved.
The North Caledonian Football Association confirmed it has received interest about a team from Scourie being formed to play in the 2020/21 campaign.
They are one of four teams that are interested in applying to the division. The others are Alness United, Loch Ness and Nairn County under-20s.
If all are successful, the number of teams playing in the league next season could increase from nine to 13.
Fixtures secretary Niall Harkiss confirmed there had been interest from north-west Sutherland to join the league and could be the first from the area to do so if their bid is successful.
"We received expressions of interest from a team in north-west Sutherland to play in the league next season," he said. "I believe it is a select side that intends to play out of Scourie.
"If successful, it would be new ground as I don’t think there has been a team from north-west Sutherland in the league before. It would make an interesting away trip for teams."
Harkiss said it is not known when a decision will be made on applications for new teams to join as the coronavirus pandemic has halted plans for an AGM.
But he says it was encouraging that new teams were interested in helping the league grow.
"Because the North Caledonian League has grown in the last five years it had increased the interest in winter football across the area," he said.
"It is good because for a while it looked liked it had tapered off in terms of what people look forward to. The North Caledonian League has re-invigorated that interest in winter football and in senior football in the Highlands and Islands.
Sutherland currently has three teams in the North Caledonian League – Bonar Bridge, Bunillidh Thistle and defending champions Golspie Sutherland.
Caithness has two teams in Halkirk United and Thurso, with Ross-shire represented by Invergordon and Tain outfit St Duthus. Orkney and Inverness Athletic also play in the division.
League officials, in consultation with member clubs, have decided that any decision on the outcome of the 2019/20 season should be deferred until the end of June 30.