Last season he was playing at the top level of Scottish football, in the SPFL Premiership, but last week Stuart Kettlewell put pen to paper on a deal to play this season in the Highland League.
Midfielder Kettlewell made 27 appearances for Ross County last campaign, and at the age of just 30 he was expected to remain in the professional game after his release by the Staggies.
However, with Kettlewell enjoying his life in the highlands, and with no offer enticing him to go elsewhere, he has opted to join Davie Kirkwood’s Brora, while continuing in a roll helping Steven Ferguson in the youth and community work at Victoria Park.
The former County player made his breakthrough in the senior game at Queen’s Park, he made over 180 appearances for the Spiders before earning a move to First Division Clyde, who were pushing for promotion to the SPL.
Kettlewell was named Bully Wee captain but only stayed at the club for one season before joining County where he made his breakthrough into the top flight of Scottish football.
The tough tackling midfielder enjoyed five seasons in Dingwall, making 149 appearances for the Victoria Park side, however, former County manager Derek Adams opted to release him after he underwent a hip operation towards the end of last season.
Kettlewell’s time in senior football
- 12 seasons
- 3 clubs
- 362 appearances
- 70 yellow cards
- 10 red cards
Kettlewell has now signed a three year deal with Brora and manager Davie Kirkwood was thrilled to add such an experienced player to his ranks and he commented: “Stuart is an absolute winner, he is a good player, and a good person as well. With the possibility of Ross Tokely going away to work in Angola, Stuart will be an ideal replacement.
“He is a full-time development coach at Ross County, but his playing contract is now with ourselves.
“I know the County supporters were very disappointed when he left, they knew what type of player he was.
“Stuart wants to settle in the area. His wife has a good job up here, his kids are at school in Dingwall and he wants to keep on playing. So he certainly hasn’t been hard to deal with.”
Kettlewell looks like an outstanding signing and the SPFL’s loss is certainly Brora’s gain.