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REVEALED: Fixtures out for new North Caledonian League season as Fort William and Clach join division

Invergordon, who won the North Caledonian League title last season.
Invergordon, who won the North Caledonian League title last season.

Fort William will kick off life back in the North Caledonian League with a home clash against Golspie Sutherland.

The fixtures were published on Saturday morning, with the West Highlanders – who dropped out of the Highland League  after losing their appeal against their demotion – landing a tough opener on August 20 against the 2020/21 champions.

Fort last competed in the NCL in the mid-1980s, but return there as a result of finishing bottom of the Highland League via the pyramid system.

The Lochaber side withdrew from their relegation play-off against Banks o’ Dee in April following issues surrounding player eligibility and the state of Claggan Park.

Their appeal to the SFA was dismissed and they are now gearing up for a fresh start under new manager, former Crawley Town coach Chris Baffour, who succeeded Shadab Iftikhar.

League now has 13 competitors

The North Caley division has been expanded by two clubs overall, with Clach joining existing fellow Highland League side Nairn County in fielding an ‘A team’, allowing younger players the chance to experience regular competitive football.

It’s a city derby for the young Lilywhites to begin with as they head to North Kessock, which is the new base for Inverness Athletic.

Last season’s league winners Invergordon make the short trip to Alness to get their title defence under way, while runners-up Loch Ness welcome Orkney to Fortrose.

Nairn County’s reserves begin with a home fixture against Thurso, while St Duthus welcome Halkirk United to Tain.

Cup ties for NCL clubs in week two

In week two of the season, the Football Times Cup begins with Halkirk United v Thurso and Alness United vs St Duthus.

On the same day, Golspie Sutherland, Invergordon and Fort William will be in Scottish Cup preliminary round action.

This year, it was confirmed the winners of the North Caledonian League will secure a place in the opening round of the Scottish Cup, irrespective of license status.

Fixtures have only been issued up to the winter break. An updated fixture list will be released in November.


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