A Linlithgow team is set to return to the ranks of junior football - but as part of a link up with Linlithgow Rose’s rivals Bo’ness United.
Linlithgow Thistle have applied to the Scottish Junior Football Association for membership from next season.
But rather than basing themselves in Linlithgow, the club are planning a rebrand to formally become part of the Bo’ness set-up and play at their new facilities at Newtown Park.
Club president Derek Oliver explained: “As a progressive club we have always been eager to develop and take that next step.
“With Bo’ness United advancing to the East of Scotland Football Association, a gap naturally appeared for a junior football club.
“With an opportunity to build on our relationship with Bo’ness United Community Football Club, from where our youth set-up was established a few seasons ago and our long-standing friendship with Bo’ness United, we engaged with the clubs and Newtown Park Association, as well as with members and the supporters’ club to explore benefits and opportunities of forming Bo’ness United Junior FC.
“We are thankful for everyone’s support and can’t wait to make our collective vision a reality and contribute to the ongoing success of Bo’ness United.”
Linlithgow Thistle life president Graham Orr added: “We have relished playing in the Lothian & Edinburgh FA since 2006, where the club has enjoyed winning league titles and cup successes, but more so, creating lifetime friendships in the sport.
“We thank the Executive Committee of LEAFA and SAFA for their support and professionalism over the years.
“We hope our application will be accepted and look forward to working with the SJFA and ERSJFA and building on this platform of friendship and success.”
Last year Linlithgow Rose and Bo’ness United quit the junior ranks after many years, as part of a mass exodus of clubs to the East of Scotland League and Scottish football’s pyramid system.
Work on new facilities - including a synthetic pitch, floodlighting and new changing facilities - is due to start in May - see page 4 for more.