Mearns club with local roots folds

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MEARNS United were formed in 1991 as an amalgamation of two sides from Montrose and District Welfare League, Fettercairn and Laurencekirk Royals.

But the club has folded and will play no part in the Aberdeenshire Amateur League this season.

Former co-manager John Starrs said a “lack of player loyalty” has led to the demise.

Mearns United were relegated from the Premier Division last season, on games won. They finished on the same points as Great Western United, but the Aberdeen side stayed up by having won more games.

John, who was co-manager with Abby Bruce, said that as soon as relegation was confirmed, players began defecting. “Too many players said they were not coming back. Five of our better players left immediately. We only had seven players at our first training session and it would have been impossible to get replacements.

“A few hummed and hawed about staying and in the end I didn’t need the grief. It is very sad considering we worked with a good squad of 20 last season.”

After many successful seasons in the Welfare League, Mearns joined the Amateurs four seasons ago. They had three successive promotions from Division Three through to the Premier Division.

John added: “I am gutted, but I was not prepared to put myself through the mill any longer. If the nucleus had stayed together we could have got back to the Premier. I had three guys lined up to sign, but once they heard of the departures, they were not interested.”