Page last updated at 00:15 GMT, Saturday, 2 May 2009 01:15 UK

Gretna enjoys football homecoming

Raydale Park
Gretna 2008 face Gala Fairydean at Raydale Park on Saturday

League football is to return to a south of Scotland town almost a year after the demise of its SPL team.

Gretna FC went bust last summer but a new club was formed and has been competing in the East of Scotland League, playing home games in Annan.

Gretna's Raydale Park ground could not be used because it was in the hands of administrators.

The ground has now been sold and the new owners have let Gretna 2008 return until the end of the season.

The first fixture is on Saturday against Gala Fairydean.

Club chairman Anton Hodge said it capped a rollercoaster period for football in the town.

"Just over a year ago we were still playing in the Scottish Premier League," he said.

"Then we were faced with watching the demise of our football club."

Mr Hodge said Gretna 2008 were delighted to move the few miles back along the A75 from Annan.

"Our longer term aim was to be getting back playing at Raydale and we have managed to get that now so that's great," he said.

The new owners of Raydale Park, Sawtry (loM) Limited, have not revealed their long-term plans for the ground but have allowed Gretna 2008 to play there until the end of the season.

Raydale Park has not hosted league football since 2007.

Gretna FC used Motherwell's Fir Park for their home fixtures during their single season in the SPL.



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SEE ALSO
Football return for Gretna ground
20 Apr 09 |  South of Scotland
Town fights for football ground
27 Feb 09 |  South of Scotland
400,000 stadium moves rejected
16 Sep 08 |  South of Scotland
Council rules out bid for stadium
17 Jul 08 |  South of Scotland
Gretna starts again from scratch
11 Jul 08 |  South of Scotland
Annan vow not to be new Gretna
03 Jul 08 |  Scottish League
Bid to return football to Gretna
11 Jun 08 |  South of Scotland
How Gretna paid the ultimate price
04 Jun 08 |  South of Scotland
The lights go off at Gretna
03 Jun 08 |  Gretna

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