Leith ATHLETIC, who played at Old Meadowbank Stadium when they were members of the Scottish Football League immediately after the Second World War, will make a return to their spiritual home on Saturday when they play Coldstream in a Central Taxis First Division promotion clash.
Leith have been homeless for most of the season after their ground at Telford College Sports Centre on Marine Drive was declared unplayable during the autumn of last year. Since then they have played their home games at Ainslie Park and Riccarton, but now they are looking forward to playing at their new ground, a state-of-the-art 3G surface at Meadowbank, where the old astro-turf used to be.
“We can’t wait,” said Leith’s East of Scotland League team manager Derek Riddel. “It’s a new chapter for everyone concerned with the club and we are delighted that the East of Scotland Football Association has agreed we can play our fixtures at Meadowbank. When we joined the East of Scotland League in 2008 we were hopeful that we would be allowed to play our home games at Leith Links but certain aspects of our facilities, including the changing rooms, perimeter fencing and parking, were not to the required standards.”
Leith Athletic were members of the Scottish Football League and played one of their last home games at Meadowbank – a 1-1 draw with St Johnstone – on April 3, 1948.
“Meadowbank will be a massive boost for the club, not just for playing competitive games there, but also for training where we will have all our age groups from five years old to seniors, along with girls and ladies teams together,” said Riddel. “It will be good for the younger kids to see what the older players are doing. We have had players like Leigh Griffiths, Danny Swanson, Lee Currie, Sean Welsh and Darren Lavery come through the Leith Athletic system and this is the next stage in the club’s progression. Our opening game against Coldstream should attract a big crowd. Hopefully playing all our games at Meadowbank will help our promotion push. We need to beat Coldstream and keep on their tails.”