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Evening Express Aberdeenshire Cup Draw 2013-14

The full Evening Express Aberdeenshire Cup Draw has been made, with an exciting first round clash between Buckie Thistle and Deveronvale. The winners will face Press and Journal Highland League champions Cove Rangers at home in the Second Round, where Inverurie Locos face Banks O'Dee, Huntly host Fraserburgh, and the winners of Turriff United v Keith face a trip to play Formartine United.

Full Draw

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Highland Football

Those who live in the area and those who know Scottish Football will need no introduction to the Scottish Highland Football League and other forms of football in the area.  The Highlands and Aberdeenshire support many different leagues. At local level there is welfare football made up of organised and affiliated pub and business leagues. Junior football is split into various leagues with a North Superleague and regional East and West Leagues.

Currently there are no facilities for promotion or relegation to or from the Highland League however plans are in place to change this. In recent years teams like Ross County and Inverness have departed the Highland League and performed consistently well at the highest level on the SPFL. Teams such as Elgin City and Peterhead have also joined the national league setup. New teams such as Turriff, Formartine and Strathspey have come form junior ranks to fill the voids left.

The Highland League was formed in 1894 with only Clachnacuddin and Forres Mechanics remaining as original members. Throughout the history of the league there have been various teams come and go and the league has changed size at various points settling at the current 18 team league. You can find out more about the Highland Football League here.

Skinner's Predictions Panel (2013-14) 13th: Keith

As the Predictions Panel series begins to cross into the meaty mid-table section, expect to see more disagreement and surprise over the coming few days. We are now at 13th place, and like yesterday three quarters of the panel have elected for the same team. Is http://www.hflhub.co.uk reporter Andy Skinner one of them? 

13th Place: Keith

Last Season: Prediction: 10th Actual: 14th     

P 34 W 12 D 7 L 15 GD -9 Pts 43 

Post Season Positives: 
Some very neat recruitment work by Darren Still. As one would expect most of the talk has been about the following category, but it's important to recognise there have been some shrewd additions too, and all of whom have a good level of Highland League experience. 

Post Season Negatives: 
For the Maroons, this category speaks for itself. The loss of Cammy Keith leaves a major void up front, as it would for any team losing a player worth simply as many goals as he is. There are ways they can counteract the loss of Cammy, but there's no doubt it's a huge task. Keith also need to make Kynoch Park much more of a fortress again, Stilly will undoubtedly be expecting an improvement on their five home wins from last season. 

Key Man: 
Murray McCulloch. A player who came to the club with title-winning experience at Cove prior to Keith's League Cup success in May, Murray's graft and energy in the middle of the park will prove invaluable to the side. He will very much be one to watch as he continues to grow into the side he joined halfway through last season. 

Prediction 2013-2014: 
While I don't think losing Cammy will bog Keith down as such, it may well be the case they need to take time to readapt their style of attacking in order to compliment the forwards they have. As it stands they don't have the same level of predatory instinct up front, though not many ever did while Cammy was at the club. There is every chance Keith could seriously push on from their League Cup win against Locos in May, but like rivals Huntly yesterday I think they may just fall short of the top-half as the team continues to develop. 13th 

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Skinner's Predictions Panel (2013-14) 12th: Buckie Thistle

Are our pundits' opinions beginning to split? We now have three different sides tipped to finish 12th, starting with http://www.hflhub.co.uk reporter Andy Skinner who has predicted no movement in the position from last season's table. 

12th Place: Buckie Thistle  

Last Season: Prediction: 7th Actual: 12th     

P 34 W 13 D 7 L 14 GD -4 Pts 46   

Post Season Positives: 
The addition of some experienced players to the club, and significantly the return of two who have Buckie's double title-winning success etched on their CVs from previous spells at Victoria Park.

Post Season Negatives: 
The fact that the constant departure of players through the season has effectively made it a rebuilding job for Gary Hake since he took the job last summer. That has continued again with the addition of experience, purely as a reaction to the youthfulness of the side Thistle finished with last season. I'm sure Gary would have preferred to end the season with a clearer idea of what his team will be like next term. 

Key Man: 
Craig MacMillan. As the saying goes, goals win you games. Having Franny back at the club is a big boost for the Jags, who will know what to expect from him. A predatory finisher like Craig can make the difference in marginal games, or even games you don't deserve to win.  

Prediction 2013-2014: 
The last couple of predictions have been tough, and this one matches them every bit of the way. Buckie had no other option but to blood youngsters last season, and the kids will have taken a great deal from that experience, although they maybe need another year or so to fully gel into the physical demands of Highland League football. Each player Buckie have brought in this summer has a good level of experience, and that should help to take a bit of pressure off young shoulders. However, I don't think finding the balance between the two will be an overnight job, and Buckie may need to settle for another mid-table finish as the transition continues. 12th

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Locos helpless to prevent Rossco retirement

Inverurie Loco Works have announced that veteran midfielder Craig Ross has hung up his boots with immediate effect.

Ross made his debut for Locos in 1998 having been signed from Middlefield Boys club, and became a mainstay for the Garioch side in their rise from the juniors into the Highland League in 2001.

He went on to become an integral part of a Locos team that won two Qualifying Cups, two Highland League Cups and an Aberdeenshire Shield in the naughties, and was rewarded with a testimonial fixture against Aberdeen in 2008.

A statement by Locos’ co-managers Kenny Coull and Scott Buchan – both former team-mates of Rossco at the club – broke the news while paying tribute to the midfielder.

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Fixtures

Recent Results

11-03-2020 20:00 - SHFL Week 32
Fraserburgh 7 : 0 Huntly
Fort William 1 : 2 Forres Mechanics
07-03-2020 15:00 - SHFL Week 32
Turriff United 2 : 0 Lossiemouth
Brora Rangers 4 : 1 Wick Academy
Buckie Thistle 4 : 2 Huntly
Rothes 2 : 0 Formartine United
Strathspey Thistle 1 : 3 Keith
07-03-2020 14:00 - SHFL Week 32
Deveronvale 1 : 3 Forres Mechanics
06-03-2020 20:00 - SHFL Week 32
Inverurie Locos 1 : 4 Fraserburgh
04-03-2020 20:00 - SHFL Week 31
Clachnacuddin 0 : 3 Formartine United
Fort William 0 : 1 Strathspey Thistle
29-02-2020 15:00 - SHFL Week 31
Buckie Thistle 0 : 0 Inverurie Locos
22-02-2020 15:00 - SHFL Week 30
Huntly 3 : 0 Clachnacuddin
Fraserburgh 1 : 2 Brora Rangers
Keith 1 : 3 Inverurie Locos
Lossiemouth 2 : 0 Fort William
15-02-2020 15:00 - SHFL Week 29
Brora Rangers 3 : 1 Keith
Buckie Thistle 3 : 1 Lossiemouth

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