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  • North Caledonian Football Association

Ten years on from their formation, Orkney FC are now a big part of the make-up of the Macleod & MacCallum North Caledonian League and its competitions.

This year, the club celebrate a decade long association with the league. In that time, they have won multiple cup competitions and historically claimed the league championship in 2018.

Their status as the most remote senior football club in Scotland, where every away day involves a trip across the water, makes their achievement that much more impressive.

It is even more fascinating to consider that the club are now a part of the Scottish football pyramid, with the possibility of a Scottish Cup place also on offer, should they repeat their title winning feat.

It would have seemed entirely unlikely ten years ago that a team from the islands could possibly find a way into the nation's premier competition.

Chris Simpson is the only player to have featured in all ten of Orkney's season to date.

He said: "Every footballer in Orkney owes a lot to the people who set this up for us to progress and play, from the younger generation right to the older guys like myself. We are very grateful to the North Caley League for including such a small Island in a great league like this."

Manager Charlie Alway, the league's second longest serving manager, has been in charge of Orkney since September 2015.

He said: "The inclusion of the North Caledonian League winners in the Scottish Cup has reinvigorated and increased interest and focus in the club as we take our place in the Scottish football family.'

Last season, Alway steered his side to a mid-table finish in sixth place.

He now prepares for his eighth campaign in the hotseat, aiming to bring younger players through the ranks.

He added: 'It is always our aim to compete in the title race and that would be the target for the season ahead.

'With a full local calendar of summer football in Orkney the players who form the club will be match fit and raring to go as the season begins. Our young squad is maturing nicely and the reduction of Covid restrictions should help our player availability.'

Orkney kick off the season with a trip to play last year's runners-up, Loch Ness.