HUNDREDS of supporters from across the country are set to cheer on East Lothian teams on a busy day for football fans next weekend.

Kick-off times at fixtures involving Dunbar United, Haddington Athletic, Tranent Juniors and Musselburgh Athletic have been staggered to allow fans to attend each game in succession next Saturday (March 18).

The annual Groundhop Day offers football fans the chance to see four nearby games in a single day, with further fixtures on the Friday evening and Sunday.

Pam Munro, chair of Dunbar United, was looking forward to welcoming fans to New Countess Park as the Seasiders take on Coldstream in the East of Scotland Football League (EoSFL) First Division in an 11.15am kick-off.

She said: “From our perspective, we have got the best deal.

“Everybody will be excited, raring to go, and we have had contact with people about unveiling flags and things like that.

“They are not going to be filled up on pies from other places and it is a great opportunity.

“We are really excited about it.”

From there, fans will venture to Millfield, where Haddington Athletic take on Dundonald Bluebell in the EoSFL Premier Division.

The Hi Hi have enjoyed an impressive run of form since the turn of the year and Drew Donaldson, club chairman, was hoping a bumper crowd could see the team pick up another three points.

The game with the Fife side kicks off at 2pm.

Mr Donaldson said: “I think it will be a great day for the club.

“We are looking to have around about 500 fans.

“We are averaging over 200 anyway so it should be a busy day.

“It is the first time we have been involved in Groundhop Day.

“We were meant to take part in this but not at Millfield, but then Covid struck.

“It is a first for us, either at home or away, and you get all the spin-offs with catering and half-time raffles as well.”

The climb up the pyramid continues for the fans as they then enjoy Tranent Juniors versus Bo’ness United in the Scottish Lowland Football League.

The Belters are pushing for back-to-back promotions and Brian Johnston, vice-chairman, was looking forward to another bumper crowd.

With the influx of fans comes a guarantee that programmes and merchandise will be on sale for the supporters, while more people will be staffing the pie hut ahead of the 5pm kick-off.

He said: “It will be all systems go and we will be ready to welcome them.

“There has been a lot of work done in the background which is coming to fruition.

“It is an opportunity for us to showcase Foresters Park, how we play and the Lowland League.

“Some of these guys might not have seen the Lowland League.”

Finally, groundhoppers will take in their fourth game of the day at Olivebank when Musselburgh Athletic host Broxburn Athletic.

Kevin Liston, vice-president of the Honest Toun side, was keen to send supporters home happy after the 7.45pm kick-off.

He said: “We are looking forward to it immensely.

“It is a big night for us and a bit of an honour to be selected for it.

“There is very much an East Lothian feel, with Dunbar, Haddington, Tranent and us.

“It will be a big night for the club and we are all looking forward to it.

“There has been a lot of preparation but the Groundhop people are very helpful and kept us informed.”

Meanwhile, Tynecastle take on Sauchie Juniors in a 7.45pm kick-off on Friday at Meggetland, while the weekend is rounded off on Sunday as Penicuik Athletic host Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale at 12.15pm.