Bo'ness United Junior FC face extinction if they don't apply to go senior by March 31

Less than two seasons after being formed, Bo’ness United Juniors fear they face a very real prospect of extinction.

Tuesday, 16th March 2021, 2:10 pm
Bo'ness United Junior FC manager Willie Irvine (right) and his assistant Tam Beattie
Bo'ness United Junior FC manager Willie Irvine (right) and his assistant Tam Beattie

The disbanding of their East Region Scottish Junior Football Association Premiership South league this summer – likely to see member teams move to a conference in the senior ranks – means BU Juniors will fold if they don’t also apply to join by the March 31 deadline.

That application is in doubt, though, as the juniors have failed to reach an agreement with the existing Bo’ness United senior team, playing in the Lowland League, over such a step up, with negotiations ongoing.

“We are still considering our options, given that it is inevitable that the junior football leagues in this area will be no more from next season,” Bo’ness United Juniors secretary Derek Oliver told the Journal and Gazette.

“This proposal is purely on the basis that the junior leagues are finishing and there’s going to be an exodus of clubs. There is no sustainability.

“If we want to continue playing football, we would need to go to the East of Scotland Football League. It’s not us choosing to go or considering choosing to go. Our hand has been forced.

“We created a team to have junior football in Bo’ness, having put the infrastructure in place in our first season then to build on that, and we’ve put a highly competitive team together for this season, and it’s just unfortunate that people haven’t been able to witness that.

“We’ve got the core of a cracking side that’s signed up for next season in terms of where we were and it’s exciting to think what that team could eventually be like.

“Ultimately, if we don’t move, there will be no football club for us, no second team in Bo’ness, no junior team and no second senior team.”

If Bo’ness’s second team do go senior, that might not go down well with the town’s existing senior side.

“We recognise that it would be a competitor and part of the pyramid,” Derek said. “That’s why we are considering our options.

“It’s not a case of wanting to compete with Bo’ness United, but at the same time it’s being able to continue playing football.”