SAUCHIE gaffer Fraser Duncan believes the club securing its SFA license takes them to the next level.

Following months of paperwork and stadium renovations, the club finally received the news that the license has been granted, and Duncan's relief is apparent.

Speaking to Advertiser Sport, he said: "It's good to get that in the bag finally, feels like it's taken an age but we're glad to get it done.

"It takes us to the next level. Getting your SFA license means you've satisfied all their needs and criteria to be at that professional level. It's the next step for us and the club.

"The biggest thing is it enters us into the Scottish Cup so, if you look at it from a fan's point of view, that's probably the biggest thing for them.

"From a club's point of view it's the next step on the ladder, we need to push on now and go from there. It's a great achievement for the club, it's taken a long time but it's been great to get it sorted."

Despite the Covid-19 pandemic forcing the season to end, it gave the club the opportunity to make the necessary adjustments, with the help of a few volunteers.

Work done to the ground includes working on improving disabled access and upgrading both the toilets and disabled toilets.

Ground capacity has been done, while new signage and lighting has been installed. Doors have been made wider to allow easier access for all, while changing facilities and dugouts for both home and away players and staff have been improved also.

"The amount of paperwork has been scary," Duncan adds. "But it puts us in a good position to move forward. Great for the club, supporters coming in will notice the difference.

I don't know if there's many grounds as good as ours at the minute, the way that it's looking.

"This is just the start of it. The move from juniors to seniors, we done that. Then, when you get to that seniors rank an SFA license is the next step. We've done that, it's great we just need to continue on the path we're on and make sure things are upgraded year by year. The club looks great, pitch looks great, squad's settled. I can't wait for Saturday to come, we can't wait to get started."

The club are looking ahead to Saturday as that is when the league campaign officially begins. Sauchie kick off their season at home to Dunbar United and Duncan's pleased to see some niggling injuries have been cleared up.

He continued: "We've had a couple of niggles and knocks, the last couple of weeks we've relaxed things a bit to get them cleared up. We've got a really good session [last night] and another one tomorrow and we make sure we're prepared and ready for Saturday. That first game means the world to us.

"We've got to make sure they go away with a defeat, we need to start the season well and we'll be looking for three points on Saturday."

Duncan has been more than impressed with the two players the club have signed, while a new goalkeeper will also be joining the club.

He said: "We've brought in two new signings, Scott Davidson and Conor Kelly, who have been excellent. They've been outstanding, great additions to the squad. We're signing Evan Columbine, who's the younger brother of Sam, from Queen's Park.

"[We're] happy to bring him in, the three signings are what we needed. At the end of [last] season we said we needed a goalkeeper to back Chic [Bell] up, we needed a centre-half to fill that gap and we needed another striker.

"We're sitting with 22 players, and I'm really looking forward to the season."

Duncan's target is to finish in the top five or six places. "I think a top five finish for us would be absolutely brilliant," he said.

"As long as we can stay clear of injuries, we've got a very good squad and I think a top five finish is realistic."