Bathgate forge link-up with local amateur teams

BATHGATE THISTLE have announced a tie-up with two local amateur teams,

Vale and Bridgend, who formerly played separately in the Lothian & Edinburgh Amateur FA leagues, have joined forces and reached agreement with the Junior outfit to play as Bathgate Thistle Amateurs from season 2011/12 onwards.

The new team will play in the Lothian & Edinburgh Amateur FA Premier 2 Division.

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The two former amateur teams were both formed five years ago and have taken the bold step to merge in an effort to build one stronger side who will play their home games at Balbardie Sports Centre.

It is hoped this will be the first step towards the development of a community football club representing Bathgate across youth, amateur and junior football. Similar set-ups are encouraged by the SFA and have developed successfully across Scotland, using shared training facilities and offering football development at every level, from young children through to adults.

To celebrate the launch of the new team - and help with fundraising - an inaugural Sportsman's Dinner is being held in Bathgate Royal Legion on Saturday, August 13, the same night as the first game of the new season. Guest speakers for the evening will be former Motherwell star John Gaughan and ex-SPL referee John Rowbotham. Tickets are priced at 30.

Further details are available at the amateur club's official new website www.bathgate