Clach captain Gordon Morrison and his Buckie Thistle counterpart Lewis MacKinnon both hope to be fit for today’s Breedon Aggregates Highland League Cup final at Keith’s Kynoch Park.
Former Highland League player of the year Morrison missed last weekend’s 1-1 draw with Formartine with a badly bruised foot, while MacKinnon was taken off after only 28 minutes of Buckie’s derby with Deveronvale.
Morrison said: “It is the first time in 10 years Clach have reached a cup final, so I am hoping to be fit as I am desperate to be there and longing to bring the trophy back to Inverness.
“With the way things have been at Clach in recent years, going into liquidation and coming through that, reaching a cup final when the purse strings are still pretty tight is a great achievement.
“I was in the Clach side that beat Forres Mechanics in this final 10 years ago to the day, again at Kynoch Park, so I am hoping that is a good omen.”
Morrison knows that if the game goes to a shootout it will take something special to beat Buckie goalkeeper Kevin Main.
Morrison said: “We had someone at Buckie’s game against Deveronvale and he reported that Kevin had saved two spot kicks. We were taking penalty kicks at training last night with that in mind.
“Buckie have a lot of experienced players in their squad, guys like Kevin, Graeme Stewart, Lewis MacKinnon and Donnie Munro. That is something we are lacking as we only have myself and our goalkeeper John Campbell, all the rest are young lads.”
Buckie captain MacKinnon said: “I came off early against Vale last weekend but it really was more of a precautionary thing as I felt a wee twinge in my thigh when I pinged a ball.
“There wasn’t really anything at stake against Vale but there certainly is in the final. I have just come off the treatment at Caledonian Stadium in Inverness. Our former manager, Duncan Shearer, fixed me up with the Caley Thistle physio, so I am very hopeful that I will be in my usual place in central defence.
“If we were to win it would be a brilliant. To be the first one up there as captain of Buckie Thistle would be fantastic.”
The 29-year-old hopes the game does not go to penalties.
He said: “Our goalkeeper Kevin Main was brilliant in saving two Vale spot kicks last weekend but I want the game done and dusted within the 90 minutes and then head back to Buckie for a party.”