Elgin City boss Gavin Price reckons goalkeeper Daniel Hoban and versatile Angus Mailer combine to add worth on and off the pitch.
The League Two club have now dealt in four current players and two new recruits, with only striker Smart Osadolor moving on.
Over the past month, Elgin have given contract extensions to Darryl McHardy, Archie Macphee and Conor O’Keefe and signed ex-Stenhousemuir defender Creag Little.
The Black and Whites are, therefore, well on with their plans for next term, having been denied a promotion tilt by losing to Edinburgh City in the play-offs.
At the weekend, former Caley Thistle youngster, goalkeeper Hoban, 23, joined from Forfar Athletic, having spent time on loan at the Moray club in 2019/20.
The shot-stopper, who has had loan stints at Brora Rangers, Nairn County and Fort William, checks into Borough Briggs on a two-year deal
And on Tuesday, the Black and Whites announced that defender/midfielder Mailer agreed a contract extension for the same length of time.
The 22-year-old actually penned that deal in March, but the announcement slipped through the net amid the side’s push for promotion.
Price was delighted to capture Hoban, who will provide competition to number one Thomas McHale.
Glove battle to heat up
The boss said: “Daniel is a good goalkeeper and good about the dressing room and he has done well at Forfar, playing a number of first-team games.
“We had a chat and he was keen to come and push for the position here at Elgin. We have two very strong goalkeepers now.
“You want to have competition for every place in the team, so it’s important and it will help Thomas. It will help push him on. It’s a positive move.
👏All the best to @HobanDaniel who is joining Elgin City for the 2021/22 season.
Dan was a popular player around Station Park and will be remembered for some great displays incl. the 3rd Rnd Scottish Cup penalty save which helped the Loons reach the 4th Rnd vs Dundee United. ⚽️ pic.twitter.com/lUfifm6piH
— Forfar Athletic (@ForfarAthletic) May 24, 2021
“We have been a bit unfair on Thomas in that he needs to be pushed like every other position requires.
Lossie switch is winning move for Kelly
“That’s no disrespect to Oli (Kelly), who we had on the bench most of last season. It is important for him to go and get games.
“He will go on loan to the Highland League with Lossiemouth next season, which will benefit him.”
And the Elgin manager was satisfied to finally speak about Mailer, who showed his class in the push for the play-offs.
He said: “Angus was actually a deal done a couple of months ago, but we’re glad to get word out there that he’s signed. I’m not sure how that was not announced.
“We’re delighted he’s signed and, since then, he’s actually had a good run of games in the team.
“He showed towards the end of the season what he gives you. He is another great one for the dressing room and he can play in a number of positions.
MAILER EXTENDS ✍️
With all the madness of the end of season fixture schedule we forgot to mention midfielder Angus Mailer signed a 2 year contract extension which will see him at the Club until Summer 2023 🤍⚽ pic.twitter.com/8KsVNyhruq
— Elgin City F.C. (@ElginCityFC) May 26, 2021
‘Wholehearted’ and a ‘key member’
“He is a wholehearted player who gives us something different. He was a key member of the team during the play-off period.
“The past two or three years we have made very small changes to the squad in every window. That helps with continuity and trust within the dressing room.
“That’s the way we want to do it. It’s good that we have kept the squad happy and within the club and that’s testament to all the things going on at the club as a whole.”
Kelty will add quality to the division
Lowland League champions Kelty Hearts beat Brechin City 3-1 on aggregate in the pyramid play-offs to move into the SPFL set-up for the first time.
Their manager, ex-Scotland and Rangers midfielder Barry Ferguson, quit the job on Monday and Alloa Athletic looks like his next stop.
Price knows it will be another battle for honours in League Two, but after successive third-placed finishes, Elgin are ready for it.
He explained: “Kelty will bring something different to the league. They will be another strong team and I can see the league being quite tight next season.
“I don’t see there being a massive difference between all the teams. You can see that in the way the squads are being built.
“It is going to be another hard task to get to the top end of the table, but it’s one we’re well equipped to do. The past 24 months have shown that.”