FORMER Scotland star John Collins backed the new-look football set-up in Galashiels last week.

And then revealed it could lead to more youngsters from the Borders following in his footsteps and representing their country.

At the annual general meeting of Gala Fairydean FC in the Netherdale clubrooms on Friday, June 21, the proposed merger with Gala Rovers AFC was unanimously agreed. The club will now be known as Gala Fairydean Rovers FC.

It means there will now be a clear path way from the youths and amateurs to the first team, who have been admitted to the new-look Lowland League next season.

And they will be led by former Gala Rovers manager Steven Noble after former manager John O'Hara walked out last week.

Speaking in a video message posted on the Border Telegraph's Facebook page this week, Collins, who kicked off his career in Galashiels, said: "Congratulations to the Galashiels football community, finally as one - united.

"I am looking forward to the future, total football down at Gala Fairydean Rovers.

"All the young kids, the whole football club are going to be playing the proper football Spanish way." And he added: "I can't wait to get down there and see everybody." Noble guided Gala Rovers to Border Amateur Division A title last season as well as winning two cups. And the former Selkirk and Fairydean full-back, who has just completed his coaching B Licence, is relishing the challenge.

Amongst his first signings are his brother Stuart, who has been a striker with Fulham, St Johnstone and Berwick Rangers, and Sean Paliczka from junior side Bonnyrigg Rose.

He has also recruited the vast majority of last season's treble-winning Rovers team, including Des Sutherland and Andrew Hardie. And more signings are expected to move to Netherdale over the coming days.

But Noble, whose father Bruce was a former captain of Gala Fairydean, is looking beyond the team who will play in the Lowland League.

He added: "The Lowland League will be a great opportunity for the boys to showcase their talents but I also want a really strong team playing, most likely, in the Border Amateur League.

"We also want a really strong pathway through to the age-groups with everyone playing good, attractive football.

"This is a community club and we want the whole community involved - I want to see that stand packed every Saturday when we are playing." The following have been appointed office bearers for season 2013-14: Honorary President, Jim Gray; Chairman, Kevin Temple; Vice-Chairman Derek McGill; Secretary, Graeme McIver; Treasurer, Susan Swan; Match Secretary, Robert Fairburn; Committee, Darren Bunker, Steven Noble, Bruce Noble, Tam Cass, Shane Greene, Alan Allison, Adam McClory, Mike Riddell, Fred Blackie, Paul Gray.

In a statement from Gala Fairydean, a club spokesperson confirmed: "The new chairman of the club is Kevin Temple who is currently the coach co-ordinator at Gala Dean Junior Football Club. He replaces Jim Gray who also decided to stand down after filling the role of chairman for the past 12 weeks.

"Jim stepped in to help at a crucial time for the club and this was greatly appreciated. Everyone at Gala Fairydean Rovers is delighted that Jim has agreed to accept the position of Honorary President." After countless years of service to the Fairydean committee, John Clayton and Bill Berry decided to stand down from their positions.

The club spokesperson added: "The club want to publicly thank them for their outstanding contributions and this was reflected by rounds of applause from everyone in attendance at the meeting." Within 48 hours of John O'Hara's departure he was appointed manager of Peebles Rovers.

Joining him at the exit door was coach Jamie Carter and captain Gerry Rossi, as well as several other players.

O'Hara told us: "Gala Fairydean was a great opportunity for me but I couldn't see it working under what was being proposed by members of the committee - it all came out of the blue after we'd had a closed-doors bounce game.

"This should have been a great time for the club, but you just have to look at the turmoil previous managers have gone through to see there is something wrong."