RHU Amateurs boss Stewart Maule believes that the standard of player that he has recruited this summer goes to show how far his side has come.

The club has retained the services of much of last season’s squad, and has added seven new faces, some of whom bring experience from playing at junior level or a high standard in the amateur game.

However, Maule’s hopes of sizing up his new squad for the first time in an organised fixture this weekend have been torpedoed after the Scottish FA introduced new restrictions on friendly matches.

Rhu had been due to play Dumbarton United amateurs this Saturday, with further ‘local’ friendly matches lined up against Lomond Thistle, Vale of Leven’s under-20s and Dumbarton Academy FP by the end of the month.

But on Tuesday afternoon the Scottish FA announced that clubs within the five council areas where indoor household gatherings have been banned – including West Dunbartonshire – would not be allowed to play clubs based in other local authorities until further notice.


That means that all of Rhu’s pre-season friendly plans – along with those drawn up by Helensburgh FC, who had also arranged to play teams from the Dumbarton and Vale of Leven areas – have been thwarted.

Speaking before Tuesday’s setback, Maule told the Advertiser of his hopes that the fact a lot of his new signings are all familiar with each other, and their new teammates, will stand his side in good stead and allow for an easy transition into the squad.

READ MORE: Rhu Amateurs gearing up for a return to friendly action

He told the Advertiser: “A lot of them coming in are early 20s, they’ve all got decent track records, and they all know each other.

“I’ve always said that’s one of the most important things about a good team.

“Amateur football is quite easy – the team that trains the most, plays the most and socialises the most, is normally the most successful.

“We’ve got a core of boys who have probably all known each other since they were in primary school, which is fantastic.

“They all want to come and play for us, and we’ve got older guys with the experience of playing at this level and for this club that will be able to pass their experience on.

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“It’s great because guys who, two or three years ago, wouldn’t have even have looked at us to come and join, and who went away and played outwith the town, have now seen what we have been trying to achieve and are now deciding they want to come back and play for their local club again.”

In an email to all member clubs sent on Tuesday afternoon, the Scottish FA’s chief executive, Ian Maxwell, announced: “You will be aware that following an increase in coronavirus (Covid-19) cases in the west of Scotland, additional restrictions have been introduced for people living in Glasgow, East Renfrewshire, Renfrewshire, East Dunbartonshire and West Dunbartonshire.

"All clubs located within the above noted areas should not travel outwith those areas for friendly matches.

“Teams in these five local authority areas can only play teams in their own area and cannot travel outside their local authority area.

“Also no team is now permitted to travel into any of these areas until these restrictions are lifted.

“Any approval granted for matches which fall under these updated restrictions is now rescinded.”

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