THE Lowland and East of Scotland Leagues are set to start on Saturday October 10.

And featuring will be all six local sides who once plied their trade in the junior ranks.

However, Kelty Hearts will be looking to win the Lowland League to get the chance of making the SPFL, while Hill of Beath Hawthorn, Dundonald Bluebell and Crossgates Primrose will be contesting the East of Scotland Premier Division and seeking to win a place in the Lowland League.

Meanwhile Lochore Welfare and Lochgelly Albert, the last of the local clubs to leave the juniors, will be playing in the East of Scotland First Division Conference B.

The top 16 sides from the two conferences Conferences will form the First Division in 2021-22.

The Albert have lost a few players from last season but they are still hopeful of contesting a place in the First Division next season.

Joining the new set-up has seen the Berts have to invest in improvements to their Gardiner's Park ground and so far they have plied just short of £12,000 into The Tap Of the Toun venue.

Secretary Ian Patrick said this week: "We had to improve our toilet facilities at the park and extend the match officials' changing accommodation plus change our traditional system of dug outs opposite each other bringing them side by side and it has cost a handy sum.

"However, it has improved our facilities and everyone is looking forward to this season which will see the Berts break new ground."

The Albert will play the likes of Hawick Royal Albert, Eyemouth United and Peebles Rovers for the first time but also have Fife derbies against Oakley United, Burntisland Shipyard, Glenrothes, Newburgh and golden games against Lochore Welfare.

Added Ian: "Having Fife derbies makes a real difference but also playing new clubs adds that extra spice to the season.

"Our manager Ross Gallagher has got a fairly young squad but we have several of last season's good contributor's in the ranks including our top scorer last season James Gunn.

"James has extra work commitments now and might miss the odd game but he should be available for the majority of our 30 league games which is good news.

"Our target it to make the top eight and qualify for the First Division."

TIMES PREDICTION: The Berts will enjoy breaking new ground and getting back to playing derby games and will achieve their target of the top eight sides.

Lochore Welfare had a bit of traumatic season last term in the East Super League after finding points very hard to come by in the first few month of the season but they soon started to get a team together which saw them winning games and manager James Adam wants his team to be up their challenging in Conference B.

He has signed a number of players who he feels will make a real impact in the East of Scotland League arena.

Said James: "It has been a really strange time through the Coronavirus Crisis but it has been good to get back to football and the training sessions have been going well.

"We have brought in a number of lads to strengthen our challenge and our aim is to be up challenging at the top end of the table.

"Ultimately we want to make the cut for the First Division but really it will be good to playing in derby games again especially against our old friends from Lochgelly."

TIMES PREDICTION: The Welfare could be the team to watch this season. They will be up there challenging for the top four slots never mind top eight!