Created: Monday, 26 July 2021 09:30
Published: Monday, 26 July 2021 09:30
Written by Stephen Shand
The Highland League management committee has decided that Fort William will play all their Highland League and League Cup matches away from home this season, due to Claggan Park being unplayable.
An inspection took place on Thursday after a member of the public reported their concern about the state of the playing surface, which has a number of bare patches on it. The committee met with the club on Friday to discuss the circumstances and other options available to them.
It was then deemed that Fort William were in breach of Rule 7.6.1, which places a requirement on clubs to ensure their pitch is in good condition and provided with an efficient and effective drainage system.
Fort William are due to release a statement on the matter on Monday.
Created: Saturday, 24 July 2021 12:11
Published: Saturday, 24 July 2021 12:11
Written by Stephen Shand
Today sees the return of the Highland League and we welcome newcomers Brechin City, who make their HFL debut against Turriff United at Glebe Park.
Team news and a summary of club transfer news below:
Brechin City v Turriff Utd
Brechin City take their Highland League bow with a home fixture against Turriff United. They will hope to continue the form that saw them beat League One Alloa in midweek. Highly-rated youngsters Jack Wills and Max Kucheriavyi have joined the club on loan from St. Johnstone, while evergreen forward Garry Wood comes in from Formartine United.
Turriff are the first team to make the trip to Glebe Park, and new signings for the Haughs men who could make their debuts are defender Rhys Clark from Montrose, forward Kyle Gordon and midfielder Jordan Cooper (on loan) from Inverurie Locos, and goalkeeper David Dey from Keith.
Buckie Thistle v Lossiemouth
Buckie begin their season with a coast derby against Lossiemouth at Victoria Park. Declan Milne is their only absentee through injury. The Jags have recently signed former Aberdeen youngster Max Barry on a short-term deal and former Strathspey striker Adam MacLeod. Previous loanee Jack Murray, defender Lewis Dunbar and returning goalkeeper Kevin Main also joined the club earlier this year.
Ally Bellingham is injured and misses out for Lossiemouth, but the rest of boss Joe Russell's squad should be available for selection. Martin Charlesworth and Stewart Black have both signed one year contract extensions to remain at Grant Park.
Deveronvale v Brora Rangers
Deveronvale have a tough opener against Brora Rangers at Princess Royal Park. Manager Craig Stewart has made a raft of new signings, including Jamie Tinnock, Charlie Hay and Matty Jamieson on loan from Elgin City. Goalkeeper Sean McIntosh and midfielder Michael Watson joined from junior side Dufftown, while fellow midfielder Rory Davidson returns from Deveronside along with young defender Innes McKay. James Connelly comes in on from Inverurie Locos on loan.
Brora have a full squad available with the exception of Josh Meekings, who is without a doubt this summer's most impressive signing. Meekings recently captained Dundee and previously had a successful spell at Caley Thistle. Boss Steven Mackay has also been working on some loan signings this week to add to his squad, which has been bolstered by the return of James Wallace from Morton. Mackay and his assistant Craig Campbell have signed contract extensions, as have a number of first team players.
Forres Mechanics v Wick Academy
Forres start at home to Wick Academy and will be without Dale Wood through suspension, while Graham Fraser (groin) and Stuart Soane (calf) will have late tests, but boss Charlie Rowley is hopeful both will be available. Gordon McNab has returned to the club recently after a decade away, plus Ruari Fraser has joined from Formartine United and Paul Brindle comes in from Brora Rangers.
Wick travel without several players, including Richie Macadie, Brandon Sinclair, David Allan, Andrew Hardwick and Ryan Campbell. Steven Anderson has returned to the club from Rothes and Sean Campbell, Jack Henry, Jack Halliday and Brandon Sinclair have all committed their long term futures to the club.
Fraserburgh v Formartine Utd
It's sure to be a cracking opener to the league season with Broch hosting Formartine at Bellslea, the two sides who are due to meet in the delayed 20/21 Aberdeenshire Cup Final at Harlaw Park on Wednesday night. Jamie Beagrie is offshore and misses out for the home side, and Owen Cairns is out with an injured ankle. Joe Barbour, Lewis Duncan and Scott Henry have all signed contract extensions at Bellslea.
Formartine had goalkeeper Ewen Macdonald to thank for a tremendous display in the semi final win over Buckie Thistle, he will be competing for the number one jersey at North Lodge Park with loan signing from Cove Rangers, Balint Demus. The club have also snapped up former Dundee and Aberdeen Youth Team defender Andy Paterson, while midfielders Tyler Mykyta and Kevin Hanratty have joined on loan from Aberdeen for the season. Defender Ryan Spink has also been signed from Keith. Experienced duo Craig McKeown and Garry Wood moved on in the summer.