THE new season gets under way this afternoon (Saturday) with each of East Lothian’s teams having their own ambitions.

The county has two teams – Haddington Athletic and Musselburgh Athletic - in the top flight of the East of Scotland Football League (EoSFL).

Dunbar United suffered last day relegation at the end of last season and face the challenge of the First Division.

They are joined by Preston Athletic, who came agonisingly close to going the other way and going up to the Premier Division with Haddington Athletic.

Finally, it is a new name and a new division as Ormiston Primrose begin life in the Second Division.

Each of today’s games kicks off at 2.30pm.

East Lothian Courier: Haddington Athletic (maroon) are ready for a debut campaign in the Premier DivisionHaddington Athletic (maroon) are ready for a debut campaign in the Premier Division

Match of the day

Premier Division

Haddington Athletic v Hill of Beath Hawthorn

SCOTT Bonar’s First Division Conference A champions begin life in the Premier Division at home to Hill of Beath Hawthorn.

Haddington were superb last season and lost just once in the league as they took the league title by 14 points.

Of course, the step up will bring its own challenges and the Hi Hi are largely unchanged as they get ready to welcome Hill of Beath Hawthorn to Millfield.

The visitors had a challenging campaign but ultimately escaped relegation by three points.

Clearly, both teams will be looking to get the season off to a good start.

East Lothian Courier: Musselburgh Athletic (blue) welcome Crossgates Primrose to OlivebankMusselburgh Athletic (blue) welcome Crossgates Primrose to Olivebank

Premier Division

Musselburgh Athletic v Crossgates Primrose

CROSSGATES Primrose were the first opposition Joe Hamill encountered as Musselburgh Athletic manager last year and he welcomes them to Olivebank on the opening day of the 2022/23 campaign.

The match finished 2-2 that day but plenty has changed since then.

More than half a dozen new faces will be in the home dressing room for the Honest Toun side as Hamill gets ready for his first full season in charge.

The second half of last season saw a downturn in form for Burgh and they will be keen to get off to a good start.

Just five points separated the two sides after 34 games last season, with the Fife opposition finishing above today’s hosts.

East Lothian Courier: Preston Athletic missed out on the First Division Conference B title but start the new campaign this afternoon (Saturday)Preston Athletic missed out on the First Division Conference B title but start the new campaign this afternoon (Saturday)

First Division

Glenrothes v Preston Athletic

THIRTEEN goals separated Glenrothes and Preston Athletic at the end of the league season earlier this year.

The two sides, who finished a single point behind First Division Conference B champions Oakley United, were level on 63 points after an exhilarating league season.

Manager Jack Lynch has been replaced by Paul Currie and Paul Montgomery, who will be looking to guide the Pennypit side over the promotion finish line.

The Panners scored 67 goals last term – fewer than champions Oakley and runners-up Glenrothes, as well as Kinnoull and Luncarty – but will be hoping they have resolved the issue.

Former East Fife striker Jamie Devlin has made the move from Dunbar to Preston and could be a difference maker.

Both encounters between Preston and Glenrothes finished in draws last season and it could be another tight match.

East Lothian Courier: Dunbar United (black and white) are hoping for an immediate return to the Premier DivisionDunbar United (black and white) are hoping for an immediate return to the Premier Division

First Division

Rosyth v Dunbar United

COULD the disappointment of relegation being followed up by the joys of promotion?

Dropping into the First Division on the last day was undoubtedly a blow for the Seasiders.

Now, manager Kevin Haynes is looking to guide them straight back to the Premier Division.

That mission, with a much-changed side, begins in Fife at Rosyth.

The Fleets Ground side made it into the First Division by a single point – finishing seventh in First Division Conference A.

Haynes and his team will want to get the ball rolling with three points and put a marker down that they could be promotion contenders.

East Lothian Courier: Ormiston open the new season against Heriot-Watt UniversityOrmiston open the new season against Heriot-Watt University

Second Division

Heriot-Watt University v Ormiston Primrose

RELEGATION to the Second Division came as, ultimately, no surprise to Ormiston, who struggled to find the target for much of last season.

Manager Richie Weir will be hoping a more level playing field will boost his team’s chances of picking up more than the 13 points achieved last term.

A number of new faces have come through the door at New Recreation Park, with pre-season providing a number of promising results.

The step up in standard will be apparent this afternoon as the now Ormiston Primrose head to Heriot-Watt University.

The Students just missed out on a place in the First Division and if it were not for them being docked three points they would be playing Dunbar United and Preston Athletic this season.