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Statement: Pyramid leaves Scottish football in great shape

TIERS OF JOY: Co-manager Paul Davies has backed the SFA's revamp (Photo: Sara Paciaroni)

NEWMAINS UNITED have backed the SFA’s blueprint to bring juniors clubs into the pyramid system.

The game’s ruling body last month confirmed the top junior division in the east and west division will become part of an expanded tier six below the Lowland League.

They hope to roll out the new format in time for the start of next season.

United co-manager Paul Davies believes the move is a huge boost for the game across all levels.

He said: “The pyramid system in Scotland has always been a passion of mine.

“So the announcement from Scottish FA chief executive Ian Maxwell to include junior clubs is a breath of fresh air for me personally. I believe it will strengthen the brand of Scottish football.

“This has already been proven after Kelty Hearts won every game as they stormed the East of Scotland League after leaving the juniors. That showed the quality junior clubs have to offer.” West Region League Two side Newmains won’t feel an immediate effect of the revamp.

But Davies is convinced they will eventually feel the benefits indirectly with players now having a route to reach the top.

That was his aim when he set up amateur outfit Carluke FC four years ago. Carluke merged with the original Newmains side in February.

Davies said: “When I set out a plan for football in Carluke in 2014 it was with an aim to get a team from the town playing in the senior ranks of Scottish football.

“While the system won’t probably affect Newmains too much it will create a pathway for players to progress their own careers to the senior game.

“Giving an opportunity in this fashion was always part of my plan when I set up Carluke.”

Davies worked with Maxwell for three years when the chief executive was Partick Thistle’s managing director and has got to know Juniors supremo Tom Johnston in recent months.

He added: “For me the announcement shows the quality of the appointment of Ian Maxwell by the Scottish FA.

“He is someone who is forward-thinking and a genuinely sincere guy who wants the best for the game. He was always destined for a much more senior role in the game.

“Creating the new West Region League and allowing it to be run by Tom Johnston of the Scottish Junior Football Association is fantastic.

“Tom has been great for Newmains United and has helped the club out at important times. He is somebody I have the greatest respect for.”