OUR football reporter Kenny Paterson takes a look at the runners and riders ahead this year's bigger and better Border Amateur leagues...

Division A

Treble winners Chirnside United may struggle to emulate last season’s success in the Border Amateur League, which kicks off on 19 August.

Duncan Morrison has stepped down as co-manager after United won Division A and the Border and Beveridge cups during a brilliant 2016/17, while Players’ Player of the Year Daniel Pattenden has moved to Lowland League team Gala Fairydean Rovers.

Luke Turner and Sean Lackenby will also miss the start of the season through injury but the rest of the squad remains, as does manager Stevie Shennan, who hopes to bring in a few new faces before the start of the season.

With Dunbar team West Barns Star moving to the Lothian Amateur League, Chirnside’s main challenger is likely to be Hawick Waverley.

The Teries finished last season on a high after claiming the Waddell Cup with an extra time win over Chirnside, and have plenty experience in their squad, including former Lowland League players Taylor Hope, Dean McColm and Jason Inglis.

Newly promoted Newtown will aim to stay in Division A under new manager Kenny Donaldson, who moves from Lauder, while Division B champions and quadruple winners Hawick United should fare well, with Kevin Strathdee, Ross Scott and Danny Bolton all goalscoring threats.

Stow manager Fraser Riddell has lost top scorer Shaun Hardie to Gala Hotspur and will aim to consolidate after a tough 2016/17.

Division B

Division B has a familiar look to it, after relegated pair Gala Hotspur and Leithen Rovers survived due to a league shake-up.

Spurs saw legendary former player and manager Jimmy Dunbar step down after last season, but coach Fred Blackie, assisted by John Robertson, are putting together an impressive looking squad.

Shaun Hardie (Stow), Sean Pringle (Gala Fairydean Rovers) and Scott Nightingale have signed, while Duncan Kemp will play another season with the Public Park club.

Hawick Legion narrowly missed out on promotion last season and will fancy their chances of returning to Division A this season.

Earlston Rhymers are expected to retain experienced quartet Craig and Gary Lothian and Bruce and Scott Hunter at Runciman Park, and will aim to avoid flirting with relegation for the third season in a row.

St Boswells, Duns Amateurs and Lauder won promotion to Division B, and face a fight to stay up in a competitive looking league.

Division C

Division C is a step into the unknown, with five new teams starting the season.

Among them is Langlee Amateurs, who are packed with Lowland and East of Scotland League experience, including Des Sutherland, Paul Hossack and Jay Wilson. The will surely fancy their chances of promotion at the first attempt.

Gala Fairydean Rovers have entered an amateur side under Mike Riddell and will look to gain as much experience as possible for their young squad, as will Tweeddale Rovers Colts with co-managers Craig Murdoch and Gary Lothian.

Other new teams Gala Thistle and Berwick team Highfields United will hope to find their feet quickly.

Selkirk Victoria will be looking for a resurgence after years in the doldrums as Derek Whitehead and Gary McShane take over at Yarrow Park.