Rangers plan for life in Lowland League
Berwick Rangers are gearing up for life in the Lowland League and incoming chairman John Bell says he sees his role to build a team off the park that can bring the necessary skills, energy and investment to secure the club’s future and aim for success on the pitch.
Rangers lost their SPFL status at the end of last season after a 68 year tenure when they were relegated from Division 2.
Now, Bell says: “We will learn from our experiences, and commit to making Berwick Rangers a club where players enjoy playing, volunteers enjoy giving of their time and skills, and supporters enjoy following their local team.
“For too long we’ve struggled to deliver in these areas, and I’d appeal to everyone connected with the club to bring a fresh, positive energy to what will be a tough season against some very competent opposition.
“Understandably, fans might be frustrated with what they see as a lack of news coming from Shielfield.
“Our squad assembles for pre-season this week and we expect to announce a number of signings once people have committed themselves to paper and the necessary formalities have been completed.”
Several players have moved on: Craig Hume and Kyle Allison have been released from their contracts, and Berwick have accepted offers for Andy Forbes and Calum Adamson.
A number of others others - Robert Wilson, Declan O’Kane, Jordan Orru, Sean Murphy, Jack Ogilvie and Dougie Brydon - are out of contract and will not be at the club next season.
And Cameron Blues, Ahmed Aloulou and Ryan Goodfellow returned to their parent clubs when their loans concluded at the end of last season.
Bell says that this coming week Rangers will be announcing a new shirt sponsor.
‘Back of Shirt’ and ‘Shorts’ sponsors have also been secured, and the club are still seeking a ‘Training Kit’ sponsor to make up a full set.
Bell added: “Several large companies have stepped forward to advertise with the Club, having not done so before, and we’re thrilled to have them on board.
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“Admission prices for our League games have been set at £10 and £5, with free admission for children aged 12 and under. Over 3000 free Junior Season Vouchers have been distributed to Scottish Borders schools last week, and 3000 more will go to Northumberland schools before the summer holidays.”
Lowland League fixtures will not be confirmed until the end of June, but Berwick will kick off their competitive season in the Scottish League Cup groups on Saturday, July 13, with a home game against Ayr United.
On Saturday, July 20 they are away to Stranraer, and this will be followed by a home game against Falkirk on Tuesday, July 23 and an away match against Livingston on Saturday, July 27.
The first round of the Scottish Challenge Cup will be held on Wednesday, August 7, the draw for which has yet to be made.
On Saturday, August 17, Rangers face Spartans at home in the first round of the East of Scotland Qualifying Cup - the winners have been drawn away to Kelty Hearts on a date to be confirmed.
In the South Challenge Cup they will play Newtongrange Star at Shielfield in round one on Saturday, August 24, with the winners taking on Tranent (away) in the second round on September 14.