CLYDEBANK are willing to be the driving force behind a new West of Scotland League – if the area’s junior clubs don’t make the switch to the SFA pyramid in the near future.

News emerged this week of the Scottish Junior FA asking all of its 158 member clubs in a questionnaire whether they would want to join the SFA pyramid.

Ninety-nine teams said they were in favour of joining he pyramid, with 55 against, while four clubs did not take part in the vote.

SJFA secretary Tom Johnson spoke in the press this week saying he would write to the SFA about the survey results, and to find out the next steps.

But Clydebank director Frank Hotchkiss, who has been charged with leading the Bankies’ own move after the club announced last month they were to seek a return to senior football by joining the SFA pyramid, says there are flaws in the SJFA’s current proposal.

Hotchkiss told the Post last week how Clydebank plan to apply for entry into the East of Scotland League for 2019/20, instead of the South of Scotland League – the only two options currently available to clubs in the west seeking to join the SFA pyramid.

He did, however, say he thought it unlikely there would be no West regional league by the start of 2019/20.

He said: “Our position remains the same. If something happened with the juniors’ proposal, that we’d be able to set up a league in the pyramid, then that would be great.

“I personally am not sure if they’ll be able to do that. I think there will be a west league, whether it’s under the juniors or whether it’s a brand new league set up.

“If it was just the west region it would fit in really easily. The big problem is in the East of Scotland League – where would the east juniors fit into that?

“There’s also a number of clubs that are wanting to move just now.”

The deadline for applications into the East of Scotland League for the 2018-19 season passed on Saturday, with a large number of clubs making last minute submissions for entry – a move which prompted the EOSL committee to call an EGM for Thursday, April 26.

In the West Region, only 13 of the 26 SJFA member clubs were in favour of the move to join the SFA pyramid.

But Hotchkiss said that was still more than enough for the idea’s backers to start up their own league.

He told the Post they had support if it came to that, but was clear the club would rather go along with the SJFA.

“We know that 12 other teams in the West’s top leagues that want to be in the pyramid,” he said, “so I don’t think we would have problems getting numbers for a West of Scotland league. 

“I know the SFA are keen to have some league there. 

“You have amateur teams like Glasgow University, who regularly play in the early stages of the Scottish Cup, who would be interested, and you may have other teams as well.

“We’re supportive of the SJFA proposal, and hope that something comes out of it. But if not, then there has to be a west of Scotland league, and we’ll be prepared to do our part in it. 

“The most likely scenario is for 2019/20 there will be a west league of some description, and Clydebank will be in it.”

Yoker Athletic also voted in favour of the pyramid idea, even though club secretary Campbell Bissland admitted the move was unlikely to affect the Whe-Ho – at least in the short-term.

He said: “We voted for going into it. Realistically it’s not going to affect Yoker, in the short-term anyway, but in the long term it’s more for the good of junior football.

“A lot of the bigger teams are considering leaving the juniors because there is no pyramid. 

”The bottom line for us is it’s for the good of the juniors. 

“It’s the right thing to do and it was a unanimous decision amongst the board.”