At long last there appears to be light at the end of the football-free tunnel we’ve endured for well over four months now, with plans in place for our players to start pre-season training on Saturday 1 August.  That’s about five weeks later than pre-season ordinarily would begin, and of course there are unfamiliar supplementary measures we must implement to satisfy government guidelines, but it’s a huge bonus to know we’re on the verge of a return to football activity after so long without.
We go into our eighty second season’s existence since our 1939 formation as SFA members for the very first time, following yesterday’s official confirmation, and as such are eligible for our debut participation in the Scottish Cup.  Given everything that’s gone on in recent months, there are inevitable rumours circulating at present as to the likelihood of the competition going ahead using the normal format – there’s a virtual meeting this Friday morning which a club representative will attend, and an update will be posted on our social media shortly thereafter.  Whatever the outcome on that front, we’ve a fascinating league campaign to look forward to.  Following on from the confirmation associate SFA membership had formally been granted to six clubs including ourselves, the East Of Scotland League were able finally to confirm next season’s league make-up.  Although the pyramid’s now taking meaningful shape despite continued resistance in some quarters, the challenge of how best to accommodate acceptable promotion and relegation scenarios has yet to be resolved – as it stands it’s very possibly the case only the two Conference champions will gain automatic promotion to the Premier Division for 2021/22.  That’s something we’re not alone in hoping can be addressed successfully before an awful lot longer, however everyone at Millfield ought to be focused on the pursuit of the title in any case – our playing squad appears sufficiently strong to challenge as it stands, though no doubt there could be some tweaks made by the time we have our first competitive outing.
Our current squad, in alphabetical order – Gabri Auriemma, Aaron Congalton, Dale Cornet, George Cunningham, Keiran Grant, Joe Hamill, Gordon Harris, Shaun Hill, Ryan Hutchison, Mike Johnston, Jordan Keenan, Robbie King, Ross King, Guy McGarry, Andy McNeill, Scott Moffat, Seamus Russell, Ali Simpson, Lewis Sives, Cammy Watson.
League opponents 2020-21 – Arniston Rangers, Coldstream, Craigroyston, Dalkeith Thistle, Dunipace, Edinburgh South, Edinburgh United, Kennoway Star Hearts, Kirkcaldy & Dysart, Leith Athletic, Ormiston, Rosyth, St Andrews United, Thornton Hibs, Tweedmouth Rangers.  Each team plays one another home and away, giving a total of thirty league fixtures for all.  
The framework’s now pretty much in place then, and we now need only the go-ahead to get back playing games of football again.  It could be, in broad terms, that August’s occupied by pre-season training, with friendlies permitted in September and a return to the real thing mid-October, but possibly (and very much preferably) a little earlier.  Millfield’s looking in fantastic condition, and we can’t wait to see supporters back in the ground watching football in relatively normal circumstances again before long.

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