Dundonald Bluebell will play their football as a senior side next season, having mostly played at junior level since their formation in 1938.
As the club now moves into its 80th year of existence, change is very much on the horizon after the Cardenden-based outfit applied and were accepted into the East of Scotland League (EOSL).
This resulted in the club ditching its junior tag to become a senior club, entering at tier six within the Scottish Football Association’s pyramid system.
General manager Allan Halliday said: “This was not a decision taken lightly but we are certain it is a decision that is one in the best interests of the club.”
Halliday added the top East Region Junior sides, such as Linlithgow Rose, Bonnyrigg Rose and Bo’ness United, are also making the switch, with a total of 25 east region Junior clubs leaving to become part of the pyramid system.
This, he admitted, greatly influenced the club’s decision, saying: “As a club, we have come a long way in a short period of time and established ourselves this season as a top four Superleague club.
“We have worked hard to get where we are and when it transpired that all Superleague clubs south of the Tay were moving to the EOSL, with the exception of Kennoway Star Hearts, then we felt we had no choice but also to switch.
“If we didn’t, and with no disrespect to the teams left in the east Juniors, our income and standard of opposition would have dropped significantly.”
He added: “We, as a club, are as ambitious as ever and we hope to challenge for promotion to the Lowland League as quickly as we can.
“We have been drawn in Conference B next season which, on paper, is the hardest Conference to get out of, with a number of quality sides, including old foes Bonnyrigg Rose and Bo’ness United, in our league.
“The target is to finish in the top five to ensure we play in what will be the East Premier East of Scotland league next year, which will be directly below the Lowland League.”
The club is also working towards obtaining entry level club licensing, which will allow Bluebell to participate in the senior Scottish Cup.
“Ground improvements have already started in way of working towards this,” Halliday said.
The club are also linking up with local youth team Glenrothes Athletic to create the Dundonald Bluebell Football Academy as a pathway partnership.
“This will result in all 10 Glenrothes Athletic football teams from the ages of 4 to 19 years being under the Bluebell umbrella, where we will assist the Athletic coaches to nurture players of the future,” Halliday added.
As part of the agreement, the current Glenrothes Athletic Under 19 team will work closely with the senior team with a view to this side representing the Bluebell in the Lowland League under 20s for season 2019-20.
Halliday said: “We are very keen for all Athletic age groups to be part of our community club on match days and we will work closely with them in developing and growing the relationship throughout next season.”
With exciting times ahead, the club is actively looking for businesses who may be interested in sponsorship opportunities, both large and small. Anyone interested should email Allan at firstname.lastname@example.org.