Keeper Daniel Hoban is thrilled to see Elgin City add quality to their ranks as they seek to join League Two’s promotion hunt.
The Moray club have snapped up attacking midfielder Kevin Hanratty on loan from Aberdeen, while midfielder Rabin Omar returned to Borough Briggs last week, playing in Friday’s 2-2 draw at Edinburgh City.
Although leading twice in the capital, that point helped move Elgin up to eighth spot, ahead of their weekend visitors Albion Rovers, and put 11 points between themselves and rock-bottom Cowdenbeath.
Their recent upturn in results also leaves them just five points shy of fourth-placed Stenhousemuir and Edinburgh City.
We are delighted to announce young attacking midfielder Kevin Hanratty has joined us on loan from @AberdeenFC for the remainder of the Season.
Welcome to the Club Kevin 🤍⚽ pic.twitter.com/fx11PcfoVH
— Elgin City F.C. (@ElginCityFC) January 12, 2022
Quality captures raise bar at Elgin
Boss Gavin Price is reshaping for the vital closing run-in to the season and 23-year-old Hoban, who played his first game since mid-September on Friday, welcomes the new players.
He said: “Kevin will bring real quality, coming in from Aberdeen. He’s at Aberdeen for a reason and I’m sure he’ll come here and hopefully he’ll do well for us.
“Rabin has come back and he knows most of the boys from last time. He won’t need time to gel and hopefully he will kick on. I know Rabin from when I was on loan here before, so I know the qualities he can bring to the team.
“It’s an exciting time because the squad is getting stronger and that can only help everyone else already here. I’m sure that will help give us a push in the right direction.”
Results puts rivals within reach
Elgin have lost only two of their last eight games and they face an Albion side they have beaten and been defeated by this season.
The Coatbridge team have suffered five losses in their last nine games and Hoban is determined, if called upon, to help the team score what could be a massive three points.
He said: “It has been a frustrating start to the season in terms of results, but we’ve turned that corner.
“We’ve picked up some good results. We always knew the quality was there. It was just a case of the team finding a bit of form and hopefully that will continue this weekend.
“We’re fully focused on getting the victory on Saturday. Three points would not only take off any pressure from below us, it really would put pressure on the teams above us, so all we can do is fight for three points.”
This weekends fixture vs @albionrovers is TICKET ONLY due to restricted crowds of 500 still in place ⚽️
All tickets are being sold via our partner Fanbase on https://t.co/e6jb9v7O1D
Get yours NOW so you don’t miss out!
— Elgin City F.C. (@ElginCityFC) January 10, 2022
Hoban grasped chance in capital
With number one Thomas McHale unavailable for the Edinburgh game, it opened the door for former Caley Jags keeper Hoban to make his long-awaited return between the sticks.
His last game saw him sent off against Annan on September 18 and he’s had to be patient in a campaign where injuries also halted his chances.
He added: “It was great to be back. You just want to play as much football as possible.
“This season hasn’t been ideal for me and I was glad to get my chance again. Hopefully I’ve done enough to keep my position.
“In football, opportunities present themselves in different ways. All you can do is prepare in the right way. I just want to give the manager a tough choice to make.
“Two games into the season, I suffered a foot injury. On my first game back, I was sent off, which was not ideal. It’s been up and down, but you put that behind you and prepare, so that you’re ready.”
City will have a 10-day wait until their next match against Kelty Hearts in the league.
Their scheduled opponents Annan Athletic are in Scottish Cup action against Clydebank, who knocked Elgin out of the competition.