SUSTAINABLE progress is top of the agenda for Tranent FC as they look to achieve their dream of reaching the Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL).

The Belters won the top flight of the East of Scotland Football League (EoSFL) two years ago before going on to cement their place in the Scottish Lowland Football League with victories over both St Cuthbert Wanderers and Darvel.

Matthew Thomson has now taken on the role of director of football at the Foresters Park club.

Thomson, who lives in Prestonpans, spoke to Courier Sport from Las Vegas earlier this month.

Previously assistant manager at the club, he explained the new role: “It is a link between management and the board, really.

“The role is part and parcel of football.

“We are going to go down a path where you are signing big, key senior players but we need to get to a level where we are bringing in youth development.

“The manager can change but we need to keep the same philosophy and keep that consistency.”

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Scott McNaughton has taken on the role of assistant manager at the club, working alongside Ian Little in the dugout.

Thomson worked alongside former Berwick Rangers and Livingston man Little at Bo’ness United and will continue to liaise between the management team and the committee.

He noted that there were already a couple of players from the club’s under-20s training with the first team.

He stressed the club wanted to progress and reach the national leagues but it had to be done by building “a sustainable future”.

Thomson, 31, said: “The ambition is to be a league club but that has to be done correctly.”

Defeat at East Kilbride on Tuesday evening leaves Tranent 17 points adrift of the table-toppers and relying on the K-Park club slipping up.

Thomson said they were preparing for both possible eventualities – for promotion and for remaining in the Lowland League – in terms of looking to the 2024/25 season.

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Promotion, which would come, after finishing top, by defeating the winners of the Highland League and the team that finishes bottom of League Two, would mark a milestone for football in East Lothian as the county would have a team in the national leagues.

Thomson, who works as a train driver, said: “Obviously, we would be the only East Lothian club in the leagues, which is brilliant for the community.

“Community is so important at this level. People underestimate that.

“Fans are crucial and if they are not coming through the gates then you are going to struggle.

“We want to get the players to interact and build that platform with a full youth division now, which is a big part of it.”