• Derek Bell


Back to Shielfield tomorrow for what will be our seventh home game of the season - already. Once again we are in cup action as we play in our fourth cup competition of the season - already. This time it's the first round of the South Challenge Cup and we play host to East of Scotland Premier Division side Newtongrange Star. We will be looking to build on last week's first win of the season.

Star are managed by in of the most popular players to have donned a Berwick shirt in recent times Darren Smith. He played for us for seven years between 1998 and 2005 and was a regular in the team during the Paul Smith era. They were also managed for six years from 2005 by another ex-Berwick man Graeme Armstrong.

Star currently sit 13th in the EOS Premier Division having suffered two home 3 - 0 defeats to Tranent Juniors (who await the winners of this tie in the second round) and Dundonald Bluebell and a 3 - 1 victory at Musselburgh Athletic. They've also had two home cup ties, losing 5 - 1 to Bo'Ness United and beating Leith Athletic 3 - 2.

The squad also features ex-Berwickers Craig Hume, whose Twitter exploits are likely to ensure a warm reception, and Steven Thomson. Experienced keeper Keiron Rento is another name that may be familiar from spells at Elgin and Stenhousemuir as well as a one week emergency loan at Cowdenbeath last season. Last season's top scorer George Hunter, who hit 37 goals, left in the close season to join Bonnyrigg while Ali Forster who chipped in with 15 is now with us.

Star have been around since the 1890 and until recently were part of the Junior set up winning the Junior Cup three times (1929/30; 1970/71 and 1990/91). Their last major honour in the Juniors was the East Region Premier League back in 2012/213. Their most famous ex-players who were both there in their youth years are Willie Bauld and Alex 'The Golden Vision' Young while a young Dave MacKay was farmed out to them to toughen him up - on the basis of his later career we can probably assume that was a successful venture.

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