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Balloan Athletic prepared for historic step up into Highland League under-15s set up


By Will Clark

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Giving more young players a chance to test themselves at a higher level is the driving force behind a move that will see Balloan enter a team into the Highland League.

The club already have several teams playing in the Inverness Street League, and a side in the Moray Firth Youth Development League, so that they can offer youngsters between the ages of 12-16 the opportunity of taking part in organised football throughout the year.

While Balloan will remain very much involved in the other leagues, one of their teams – Balloan Athletic – are embarking on what is an exciting new chapter in the club’s history by playing Highland League football, having been accepted into the under-15s set-up, with the paperwork finalised.

Balloan Athletic celebrating one of their four trophy wins last year.
Balloan Athletic celebrating one of their four trophy wins last year.

“It’s been a long road to get to this point,” said chairman James Fraser.

“I must thank everyone involved in the process, most notably our own Steve McDermott and Graham Wilson, the assistant secretary of the Highland League, for everything they have done.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity as we continue to try and develop not just the club, but the young players we have here.”

The season is scheduled to run from October to March.

And Balloan Athletic coaches Graham Linton, Chris Hunter and Reece Shaw are already pressing ahead with plans to prepare the squad.

“Plenty of hard work has gone into this to get it off the ground,” said Linton.

“Now we need to put the work in on the pitch as well to make sure we’re ready. It’s going to be a big step up, but we have the players capable of doing well at this level once they find their feet.

“We know we have the talent. It’s just a case of them applying themselves.”

The coaches have also been trying to attract sponsors to help meet the costs.

“It’s not the best time to be looking for sponsorship with many businesses hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, but any help would be greatly appreciated,” added Linton.

“We’re potentially looking at getting training gear for the players – then there’s the cost of training facilities.

“It’s a lot to ask, but we hope some businesses will see it as a great opportunity to be part of this exciting journey.”

Interested sponsors can contact Balloan coach Graham Linton on 0777 254 7722, or by email at g.linton@hotmail.co.uk

Read the full edition of today's Inverness Courier here.



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