A NEW season is looming large for Rhu Amateurs – and before the competitive action gets under way, the club’s officials have taken a moment to thank the local businesses and organisations who have given the club’s teams their backing for the 2023-24 campaign.

Among the firms to have thrown their weight behind the Rhu cause for the new season are Babcock International, who have renewed their sponsorship of the home strip and matchday kit for the club’s Caledonian League squad; Baxter Ramsay, who are sponsoring the Caledonian League squad’s pre-match warm-up kit; the Rhu Inn, who are sponsoring the ‘Caley’ coaches’ training gear and the training and matchday kit for the club’s Glasgow Colleges FA (GCFA) squad; and the WCC Group and DCF Joiners and Building Services.

A club spokesperson said: “Once again this year we have been blown away with the response from local companies coming on board to support your local teams.”

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The corporate backing from local businesses sits alongside the club’s support for its two chosen local charities, the Helensburgh branch of Enable Scotland and Gary Andrews Remember a Life.

The two charities’ logos will appear on the away kit to be worn by both Rhu’s teams during the 2023-24 season, while everything the club raises through player sponsorships will be distributed between the two good causes - for more info on player sponsorship contact Gordon Brodie on 07711 120323.

On the pitch, meanwhile, Rhu’s Caledonian League squad saw their bid for silverware at West Dumbarton AFC’s pre-season tournament ended at the semi-final stage at the weekend.

Having begun the competition on July 15 with a 1-1 draw against the host club and a 3-1 win over West Dumbarton Colts, Gordon Brodie’s squad kicked off the second and final day of action on Saturday with a 3-1 win over Milngavie to finish top of their group – only to be knocked out in the last four after a 2-0 defeat to the eventual winners, St Patrick’s FP’s second XI.

The conclusion of the West Dumbarton tournament followed a 5-0 defeat for Brodie’s men in the toughest match of their pre-season programme, against Vale of Leven FC last Wednesday night.

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Rhu conceded four quick-fire goals to their West of Scotland Football League hosts in the first half, with Greg Ross, Richie Stewart, Ross Cameron and Adam Daniel all finding the net, but Brodie’s squad kept plugging away and after tightening up at the back lost only one more goal late on, with Daniel Paterson completing the scoring.

Back on home turf at the weekend, Rhu’s Glasgow Colleges FA squad continued their pre-season programme at home to Rosehill United on Saturday morning – and though their visitors, from the GCFA’s Premier League, emerged comfortable 4-0 winners there were still plenty of signs of encouragement for the Rhu coaching team.

The GCFA season gets under way on Saturday, August 5, though details of the opening round of league fixtures had yet to be published as the Advertiser went to press.

The draws for the opening rounds of the GCFA’s cup competitions were made on Monday night, with the Jim Harvey Cup draw, for First Division clubs, seeing Rhu handed a bye into round two.

Meanwhile, though details of the Caledonian League’s new season fixture lists have yet to be published, Rhu do know that they’ll be playing in a significantly expanded First Division when the new season gets under way.

Last season’s eight-team First Division has almost doubled in size with the addition of five new clubs as well as two teams relegated from the top flight, Cambria and Cambusbarron Rovers.

The new additions to the Caledonian League set-up include two big names from the greater Glasgow area, Giffnock SC Amateurs and Drumchapel Amateurs, as well as Stirling’s Riverside FC, Alva Amateurs from Clackmannanshire, and Denny-based Dunipace AFC.

Details of this weekend’s friendly action for both of Rhu’s teams had yet to be revealed as this issue of the Advertiser went to press on Wednesday. Keep an eye on the club’s Facebook page (facebook.com/RhuAFC) and Twitter feed - @AmateurRhu - as well as the Advertiser’s website for updates.

Finally, Rhu’s over-35s squad fell to a 6-2 defeat away to Budhill United on Friday night in their latest match in Division 1B of the Football Central 35s League.

Rhu’s over-35s have no game this weekend; the team returns to action on Friday, August 4 at home to Bishopton.