MORE than 400 footballers will play under one banner as Tranent Juniors and Tranent Colts get set to merge.

The two football clubs will join forces to play as Tranent Football Club.

They have worked together for more than a decade and were instrumental in attaining the SFA Quality Mark Legacy Award as part of Tranent and District Community Football Club.

Now, it is hoped that the merger, which will see the teams playing under a single banner and playing kit, will provide a clear pathway for youngsters looking to make their way in the game.

Kevin Bathgate, chairman of Tranent Colts, welcomed the move, which will see the maroon playing kit of Tranent Juniors retained, while the blue and black colours of the Colts could feature in training kit. He said: “Both clubs have been working very closely for a long time and the progression to cement this partnership and create a single identity for football in the Tranent area is fantastic.

East Lothian Courier: Tranent ColtsTranent Colts

“Both teams are community focused and with this merger we will bring a renewed drive and foster an increased positive impact in the community.”

Tranent Colts, who are celebrating their 25th anniversary, provide football for youngsters at a variety of age groups. In addition, the club will provide playing opportunities for para football, walking football, social football and over-35s team.

Tranent Juniors, who date back more than 100 years, swapped the Junior ranks for the Seniors in 2018. Since then, the club has enjoyed an impressive few seasons, culminating in lifting the East of Scotland Football League Premier Division title last season.

Managed by Calum Elliot, the Foresters Park side then won a play-off with South of Scotland Football League winners St Cuthbert Wanderers and the West of Scotland Football League champions Darvel to secure a place in the Scottish Lowland Football League.

The Belters, now managed by Colin Nish, have enjoyed an impressive debut campaign in the fifth tier of Scottish football and will be hoping to secure back-to-back promotions and a place in the Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL).

East Lothian Courier: Tranent JuniorsTranent Juniors

A spokesman for the club said: “When the club voted in 2018 to resign from the SJFA (Scottish Junior Football Association) and subsequently joined tier seven of the Scottish football pyramid, it was always our intention that after the SFA licence was granted, our ultimate goal was to unite the two clubs as one. After lots of positive dialogue with the Colts over the past few years, we are now at the stage where both our dreams have now become a reality.We sincerely hope our sponsors, supporters and everyone else within the community embraces this positive change.”

Discussions are still taking place with the SFA (Scottish Football Association), SWF (Scottish Women’s Football) and SYFA (Scottish Youth Football Association) to complete various administrative aspects.

The spokesman added: “The clubs look forward to establishing Tranent Football Club as a true community club in the coming weeks and months and forming the foundation to enhance football provision in the area and continue our valuable contribution to the community as a whole.”