New Thurso manager Michael Bremner is determined to bring fresh success to the club in the North Caledonian League and in cup competitions.
Bremner takes over from Stevie Reid, who over two spells in charge won two league titles and enjoyed four other trophy triumphs. Reid stepped down last week, feeling the time was right to allow someone else to move the Vikings forward.
Bremner, 38, has a notable winning record too. Season 2011/12 was a particular highlight as he won the league as boss of Halkirk United, part of a treble-winning campaign with two cups also landed.
Thurso FC is delighted to announce that Michael Bremner has agreed to become manager on a deal to the end of the season. New manager Michael, will be assisted by current coach Scott Davidson.
Everyone at the club wish good luck to the pair for this season https://t.co/s219qkPpom
— Thurso Football Club (@ThursoFC) November 8, 2021
The former Halkirk and Thurso Acks player will be assisted by coach Scott Davidson, who is already at the club and had a three-year spell with Bremner at Halkirk.
The new boss said: “I am delighted to get involved again, having been out of football for a wee while. I felt this was the time to get back into it.
“The committee gave me a phone and I was delighted to accept. Thurso have a good squad, so I can’t wait to get going.
“We won the league twice at Halkirk and one season we were unbeaten all the way, so it was good. We had a really good squad there.
“To start off with, I want to help Thurso move up the table. We are sitting second bottom, but I know it’s the kind of league that if you can go on a run, you can soon move towards the top.
“If we can turn around the league results and get a good feeling about the club, the confidence will soon rise.
“As well as improving our league position, we want to do well in the cups.”
Bremner admits he was a shocked as anyone when Reid called time on the top job at Thurso, but is proud to have been asked to be his successor.
He said: “Having played in the North Caley, I knew Stevie well and he’s been the Thurso manager for many years. He has won a lot for Thurso.
“It was a wee bit of a surprise to hear he was stepping down, so I was shocked to get the call to come in and help out.
“I think the club wanted to have a different approach. They have usually promoted from within, so with me having been at Halkirk for a while, this was a change in direction more than anything.”
Cup final countdown on after Nairn
And his managerial stint with Thurso gets started on league business this Saturday with a trip to Nairn County reserves.
Then seven days later, the side have the mouth-watering prospect of collecting silverware when they take on Halkirk in the Football Times Cup final at Harmsworth Park in Wick.
— Thurso Football Club (@ThursoFC) November 6, 2021
The Vikings, who are second bottom in the table, are six points behind their weekend hosts Nairn, and Bremner wants his players to get three points on board for the first time since beating Inverness Athletic 4-1 on September 25.
The new boss is expecting an instant response from his team at Nairn, with starting spots in the cup final an added lure for the players.
He said: “I would hope the players would be looking to impress, with or without the cup final. It’s a clean slate for them all.
“But with the cup final coming up, they will be excited to play and try to show what they can do.”
Nairn go into their match with Thurso fresh from winning 1-0 at Alness United, which put them into sixth spot.
Bremner expects a testing 90 minutes when his group head for Riverside Park.
Yesterday's 1-0 win at Alness United in the North Caledonian League for the Reserves Team was a first clean sheet of the season for goalkeeper Gus Wilson.
Gus has worked his way up through the Nairn County Youth Development ranks, starting with us in the Under-15s. pic.twitter.com/OED1YDLrbm
— Nairn County FC (@NairnCounty) November 7, 2021
He added: “What you notice about the league this season is any team can beat another. It’s really competitive and Nairn are certainly finding their feet.
“Many of their boys will probably train with the first-team, so they’ll have a strong squad. It’s a tough opening game for us.”
Leaders Halkirk to tackle Orkney
Elsewhere on Saturday, leaders Halkirk United host mid-table Orkney, who would move to within four points of them should they win following their recent Covid troubles.
Second-placed Loch Ness can cash in on any Halkirk slip-up as they take on current champions Golspie Sutherland, who would bolster their chances near the top if they leave Fortrose with the points.
— Loch Ness Football Club (@LochNessFC) November 9, 2021
St Duthus return to Tain for a home contest against local rivals Invergordon, while basement side Inverness Athletic seek their first league victory as they face Bonar Bridge at Inverness Royal Academy.