Each Saturday fans gather in Scottish Junior football grounds from Montrose in Angus to Nairn in the Highlands to watch Junior football. Football on display is passionate although local in feel. Many of the players involved are young while others are veterans of the league with youth often progressing to Highland League sides.
The North Region of the Scottish Junior Football Association is one of the three regions of the Scottish Junior Football Association. The region covers a wide geographical area from Aberdeenshire and up to Moray as well as to parts of the Highlands and the Angus region.
Currently, the North Region features three region-wide divisions with 32 clubs competing for a variety of cups and league titles.
Games are played at grounds as humble as the Woodside Sports Complex in western Aberdeen to the more modern Spain Park home of Banks O’Dee FC. And, like the Lowland League and the East of Scotland League set up, University football is represented with Aberdeen University competing in the North Second Division.
Several of the North teams have long-standing traditions in Scottish Junior football including Hall Russell United who originally were a works team from the Hall Russell shipyard in Aberdeen.
Current top tier Champions Banks O’Dee (previous winners of the prestigious Scottish Junior Cup) regularly play each season in the national Scottish Cup competition. Others teams meanwhile are newer clubs which have origins in ambitious mergers while some sides have foundations in amateur football before choosing to progress to the Junior ranks.
Change in the set up may however be just around the corner. With a majority of Scottish Junior clubs voting to become part of the Scottish football pyramid in 2018 the dominance of the bigger sides in Junior football is under threat – and the landscape is changing fast.
The coming years could see the likes of Banks O’Dee move into the Highland League set up as the shape of Junior football changes rapidly each season.