Caley Thistle coach Barry Wilson has hinted the Championship club could consider the possibility of entering a colts team into the Highland League in future.
Inverness have entered this season’s North of Scotland Cup, with a side which included a mixture of first team players and youth defeating Fort William 16-0 at Claggan Park on Tuesday.
Caley Jags will now face a quarter-final trip to Lossiemouth on August 22.
Inverness’ fringe players have struggled for game time since the club opted to withdraw from the Development League, which is now the reserve league, in the wake of their relegation from the Premiership in 2017.
Wilson is open to the idea of applying to add a colts team to the Highland League should the opportunity arise, and he said: “It’s something the club might have to look at. They would be an addition to the Highland League but it would come down to the politics, the logistics, and whether it was feasible if a space opened up in the league.
“One of the reasons we entered the cup this year is that we don’t have a reserve team.
“We’ve got our under-18s who play on Fridays, so there is no vehicle to get the fringe players games.
“We will use these games for that, and then we will try to arrange some friendlies with Highland League teams in the coming weeks and months.
“While the North of Scotland Cup is going, we will continue to use that. If you are going to enter something, you are as well trying to win it.
“You feel so sorry for Fort William, but we’ve got a job to do. We’ve got to keep the standards and professonalism up, and the boys did that.
“It was good to see the goals getting shared around, but it was a real hard one to watch.”
Highland League secretary Rod Houston says Caley Thistle must make the first move, but reckons the reintroduction of the reserve league earlier this summer is likely to cool the appetitite for colts teams.
Houston said: “If that’s how Inverness are thinking the onus is on them to make the proposition, and then the onus after that is on the Highland League member clubs.
“The league has to consider all sorts of propositions as and when they come along, and the Highland League will always give them due consideration.
“A couple of years ago there was quite a strong proposition where colts teams may have been involved in our league.
“The SPFL have moved to reserve teams now instead of colts teams, so it looks like they have picked different alternatives.”
Wilson confirmed midfielder Kieran Chalmers has moved on loan to Clachnacuddin, while Aidan Wilson and Logan Johnstone are also likely to be farmed out due to being too old to feature in the under-18s team which he will take charge of.