Caledonian Braves boss Ricky Waddell: Early Lowland League finish hurt our league position

The Lowland League this week joined the West of Scotland League in shutting down for season 2020-21.

Friday, 2nd April 2021, 4:03 pm
Caledonain Braves boss Ricky Waddell (Pic by Alastair Ross/Novantae Photography)

The decision to end the Lowland League on a points-per-game basis sees Motherwell-based Caledonian Braves finish 12th in a division won by Kelty Hearts.

Discussions are ongoing with the Scottish Football Association, Scottish Professional Football League and Scottish Highland Football League about possible dates for the pyramid play-off competition. All clubs competing in it will, under current Scottish Government requirements, be required to pay for Covid-19 tests.

There are several factors to be taken into account before relegation can be decided on, including waiting until the conclusion of pyramid and lower pyramid play-off competitions.

Braves manager Ricky Waddell told the Times and Speaker: “I think it was a difficut decision for the Lowland League board to make because they had to take into consideration the tier above us and play-offs. I know they were keen to get a champion club, so I do understand that.

"I think from a players’ point of view it could have been helpful to bring them in, do the six weeks’ training and finish off a half-season, which would have been a sensible option.

"We probably, for the first year since we were a club, had a bit of a settled squad this year and that was really good to work with.

"I don’t think for the first 10 weeks of the season we got any luck in terms of injuries and things.

"When we were starting to get our full squad back round about December time, we started to pick up points and we were looking like the team that I thought we were going to be, so I don’t think finishing the season off points-per-game is a true reflection of where it could have been for us.

"The guys have been off for 12 weeks and they’re talking about restarting the league on July 17.

"My focus now turns to what next season will bring. We need to make our decisions on the squad over the next couple of weeks.”

Meanwhile, Bellshill Athletic gaffer Derek Wilson has revealed that eight of this season’s squad have agreed to stay into next season.

He will speak to another eight players this Saturday and the final six the following weekend with a view to keeping them all on.