Ambitious amateur side Rothie Rovers are making the most of the football shutdown as they gear up for an application to join the Junior ranks.
With all football in Scotland suspended due to the coronavirus crisis, Rovers are still hard at work making the improvements to their ground as they prepare to apply for membership of the North Region Junior FA.
Although he would prefer to be playing games, Rothie chairman Brian Cormack is pleased they have managed to do something positive in the current situation.
The club chief said: “We started work a week past Saturday because we’re not sure when we’re going to get football next.
“There’s not going to be anything until the end of April and if we hear word that the season is over we can progress even quicker.
“We’ve already taken down fencing and the dug-outs and the fencing contractors are coming in on Wednesday.
“If we know there’s not going to be football we’ll probably get a lot more done than we first thought.
“When we’re playing we’re limited in what we can do so it’s maybe a blessing in disguise – but we would still rather be playing.
“We’re making the most of the situation. We’ve had about eight players coming along to help us with the work at weekends.
“The current situation means we can get more done and hopefully get things in place for next season.”
Cormack also praised the commitment of the management team and playing squad, who have helped with the work being undertaken.
The club have also been able to use a community-owned tractor which was paid for by the Gordonstown wind farm.
He added: “The commitment of the players and the management team has been brilliant.
“They’re all happy to come along and help and it makes a massive difference.
“The enthusiasm of the boys is brilliant and it’s great to know they’re right behind us when it comes to progressing as a club.
“In the squad we’ve got a builder and joiner and these are the guys we need so it’s great they’re helping out.”
Much has been made of the financial implications for clubs at the top level due to the suspension of football.
However, Cormack says clubs at all levels are being affected with Rothie unable to host fundraisers which could bring in vital income.
Cormack said: “We were supposed to be having a games night on Saturday and we had to put it off.
“The bowling club is where we hold our functions and it’s shut.
“Our end-of-season night is in doubt so that’s another important fundraiser.
“We’ve got the clubhouse to pay for, the pitch to upgrade every season, insurance and all the usual costs everybody has.
“So this shutdown affects every club at every level. It’s not just big clubs, it’s hurting amateur teams as well.”