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North Region junior football clubs vote for league reconstruction with new two-tier set-up beginning next season

By Craig Christie

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NORTH junior football is changing next season with a new two-tier structure replacing the current three divisions.

Rothie Rovers vs Forres Thistle. Picture: David Porter
Rothie Rovers vs Forres Thistle. Picture: David Porter

A North Region Junior FA extraordinary general meeting was held last week where the 31 member clubs were asked to vote on their preferred set-up.

By a margin of 24-7, the clubs decided on scrapping the three tiers and introducing a Premier League and Championship system.

It will begin next term with a 14-club Premier and the remaining clubs, currently 17 but subject to change, playing in the new Championship second tier.

At the end of next season. two clubs will be relegated from the Premier Division with four teams being promoted from the Championship, creating a 16-club top division.

Play-offs will also be introduced in 2023-24 with the club finishing third from bottom in the top league competing with the teams in third, fourth and fifth in the Championship over two semi-finals and a final, similar to the current SPFL play-offs.

With this year's Superleague champions Banks o' Dee gaining promotion to the Highland League, bottom club Deveronside are set to be the only one relegated to the Championship for next term.

Division 1 champions Stonehaven and second-placed Stoneywood Parkvale will go up into the Premier Division.

It means that Division 2 winners Rothie Rovers and second-placed Forres Thistle, who were set to be promoted from the third to second tiers, will remain in the bottom tier.

Lossiemouth United have also expressed an interest in returning to the north junior set-up after several seasons out.

If accepted, they would come into the Championship next season and compete with fellow Moray clubs Dufftown, Forres, Burghead Thistle, Islavale and New Elgin.

United are seeking applicants to manage the club next season before a closing date of Monday.

Anyone interested is asked to apply with covering letter and CV to info@lossieutd.co.uk.

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