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Formartine Accepted Into Amateur Leagues

Formartine Amateurs Striker Believes They Will Be A Success

Report by Andy McLaren

Formartine Amateurs striker Greg Warrender believes his newly-formed side can overcome the added pressure of being associated with a Highland League team when their season kicks-off in August.

The Pitmedden outfit were recently accepted into the Aberdeenshire Amateur leagues after Kaiser Dons folded due to a lack of players.

The Highland League runners-up are one of the biggest teams to join the association in recent years, having begun life as an amateur club following their formation in 1947.

The amateur side are expecting over 18 players to sign for them for the upcoming season, with players as young as 17 looking to join the club.

And Greg, who most recently played for Auchnagatt Barons, is looking forward to mentoring his younger teammates during their first season in amateur football.

He said: “When we had a meeting to introduce the new players a few weeks ago, I was shocked at how young some of the players were.

“I think the younger guys will get a shock when they play some of the more physical sides in Division 3 but they definitely have the quality to match the best in the league.

“I’m looking forward to being the father figure at the club as I think a few teams may want to stamp their authority on some of our younger players.

“It’s fantastic for local guys to get the chance to play football in the area, instead of being forced to travel to places such as Ellon or Inverurie.”

Formartine United stepped up to the Junior ranks in 1960 then into the Highland League four seasons ago.

The Pitmedden side will hope to follow in the footsteps of Dee Amateurs, who have gained successive promotions since joining the amateur fold two years ago.

And Gary, 32, believes the time was right to introduce an amateur team at Formartine.

“I have always wanted to help out with local football, weather it was with coaching or actually playing so I couldn’t resist the chance when I heard Formartine were forming an amateur team,” said Gary.

“My aim is to get promotion in our opening season and to hopefully win the league.

“I hate losing anything, whether it’s a match or even just at training so I hope the other guys go into every game with the same mentality.

“Having an amateur side at Formartine is going to benefit the younger players, who may not be ready for Highland League football.

“A lot of people think Division 3 is easy but it’s not.

“The majority of guys should be playing at a much higher level but they can’t because of work and family commitments.

“I believe we can become a force to be reckoned with but it will take us time to bond and gel as a team.”

Formartine have retained strong links with the amateurs over the years.

The clubs in the league still play for the Ed Edmond Trophy, which is named after United’s former secretary, who was among those who formed the club.

They also hosted last season’s North of Scotland Cup final between Cove Thistle and Johnshaven Athletic at North Lodge Park.

And Formartine’s Ryan Smith, who has recently signed from the Under-17 squad, is relishing the opportunity to play against stronger players following a short spell with Junior side Sunnybank.

He said: “Four players have joined the club from the 17s while the rest have moved to the Under-19 squad.

“We have a really good mix of boys who are hoping to sign for the club.

“When I played for the 17s, I knew the way everybody liked to play but it’s going to be totally different at amateur level.

“I joined Sunnybank early last season and I found it to be too much of a step up so I hope we can gradually progress through the leagues which will benefit my game.

“My dad has coached me since i was 10 and we had a good season last year finishing third in our league so hopefully we can both bring this success onto the amateur season.”