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The countdown’s on to the noisiest and most fiercely competitive swimming competition of the year – the Clyde Coast Mini League!

ML final Alan and teamThis year 16 teams from across the west of Scotland are taking part in the Mini League.

It begins with a Champions League-style group stage where we'll swim three matches against three other teams, 

Swimmers win points for their team in every race, including relays, and the team wins points based on the finishing order at the end of the match.

The top 12 teams in the league table swim off in the 'A' and 'B' finals at the Citadel in Ayr, in two 6-way matches.

North Ayrshire have been ‘A’ finalists for two years running, can we make it three in a row?

Our Junior Coach, Alan Dickson, always says the Mini League is his highlight of the season, so here’s his assessment of our rivals.

MLR1

Round 1: City of Glasgow, Kilmarnock, Renfrew Baths

We know Glasgow are going to be strong and they have real depth in the club – there were over a hundred swimmers at West District earlier this month – and we know they’re going to be the team to beat.

Kilmarnock are a bit of an unknown quantity. We’ve got a good record against them in recent encounters, but it wasn’t that long ago they were beating us, and we know they’ve got some good young swimmers coming through. With our former head coach, Sharon McIntyre in charge there now we know they’re going to be really well organised and fit so that could be interesting.

Renfrew Baths will be great competitors and they really get into the spirit of the Mini League.

MLR2

Round 2: Milngavie & Bearsden, Ren96, Dunoon

This could be the crucial tie for us. Ren96 have been right up there in recent years either winning or as runners up and we know how strong they’re going to be.

Milngavie and Bearsden will be targeting this round and they’re going to be gunning for us. Adam, their head coach, really loves the Mini League and prepares his swimmers well for it and enjoys the format.

They’ll be desperate not to be in the B Final again, even though they won it.

MLR3Round 3: Rutherglen, Kingston, Helensburgh

This one’s hard to call.

Rutherglen didn’t take part last year and it will be interesting to see how they go. Previously they’ve always been strong.

Kingston just missed out on the A final last year and they’ve always got a good crop of young swimmers coming through and they will be strong and will give us a run for our money.

Helensburgh have been strong in recent years and it will be interesting to see what happens.

The dates of the matches are still to be finalised, but our team has been picked and are training hard.

See you in the stands - and get ready to make some noise!