A brave new world for Campbeltown Pupils

Pupils captain Keith Mitchell will soon lead his team into the West of Scotland Football League.

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Campbeltown Pupils Amateur Football Club is carving a new chapter in its 102-year history by joining a newly-formed division of the West of Scotland Football League (WoSFL).

The club’s acceptance into the ‘development league’ was announced last Tuesday by the league’s committee.

It sees the Pupils leave the Scottish Amateur Football League (SAFL) after 44 years, with the new WoSFL season planned to start in July.

Campbell Robertson, Pupils’ secretary, said: ‘The club is delighted to be accepted into the newly-formed WosFL development league. It’s a really exciting move as it offers the potential to climb the Scottish football pyramid.

‘From the club’s point of view, we want to find our standard amongst the new teams joining the set up.

‘We want to be the best we can be as the senior team of the Campbeltown and District Community Football Club.

‘With our acceptance into the WoSFL, we can offer a pathway for the youngest age groups right through to the under-20 side, being trained by Stuart Crossan, into our first team, representing Campbeltown in non-league football.

‘With that, it’s important to acknowledge the huge amount of hard work that has gone into making Campbeltown’s community club a Gold Merit Award holder, one of only seven clubs in the Scottish Football Association (SFA) West region, encompassing all of Glasgow and the west. This accolade was a major factor in our acceptance into the WoSFL.’

Other factors in the Pupils’ favour before WoSFL committee scrutiny included having changing facilities for two teams of up to 22 players each, a separate referee’s room, and an enclosed ground with spectator barriers.

Campbell said of the club’s Kintyre Park home: ‘The renovation of the pavilion is nearing completion, through a fundraising campaign led by club chairman Alex McKinven.’

Campbell added: ‘The SAFL was a great platform for us to play competitive amateur football for 44 years. In periods, we went through some wilderness years but we have happy memories of successful title-winning seasons, too.

‘In recent seasons, however, the club became disillusioned with how the league was going, with difficulty getting referees and sometimes teams to travel to Kintyre at a week’s notice – this was not a feature against even rival teams in years gone by.

‘In the WosFL, our geography could not be a determining factor in league entry as we are SFA West region members, which meant that the criteria we could meet on a match day, and the quality of our community club pathway, mattered most.’

Meanwhile, the Pupils are gearing up for life in the WoSFL with contact training resuming on Tuesday evening.

The team have been training twice weekly in a non-contact setting to build up their base fitness since March.

Campbell added: ‘Training has been well attended, led by coaches Norman Thomson and Lewis Mackay, and although it has been hard to get the players together with ongoing restrictions, the squad are right behind the move and excited about the challenge ahead.’

Campbeltown Pupils are keen to hear from anyone who would be able to help with ground and park maintenance. Anyone who feels they are able to help can contact Campbell Robertson, club secretary.

For more club updates, follow @PupilsAFC on Twitter or Campbeltown Football on Facebook.