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Chairman Graham Tatters thinks Elgin City need an extra £100K if they are to be a promotion force in League Two

Borough Briggs, the home of League 2 club Elgin City.
Borough Briggs, the home of League 2 club Elgin City.

Chairman Graham Tatters insists Elgin City are as ambitious as ever – but reckons a fresh cash injection of up to £100,000 could help the League 2 club in their promotion push.

The season just finished was one to forget for the Borough Briggs outfit as they toiled to a ninth-placed finish in the fourth tier.

Elgin are more used to competing at the top end of the table and Tatters insists the off-the-pitch backers have been greatly appreciated.

However, to make a bid for the title or a promotion play-off berth costs money and Elgin right now don’t have the levels of funding of recent champions Cove Rangers, Queen’s Park and Kelty Hearts.

Tatters said: “Everyone wants to play at the best level they can. However, it’s no good moving up if we can’t sustain it.

“Without a doubt, we want to get promoted and we’re trying so hard to make that happen.

“When you look around Borough Briggs, we only have two spare advertising signs left. We have got boards all around the place, which is great.

“We have excellent sponsors and I’d say we need an extra £50,000-£100,000 to help us. But we don’t have that.

“People think we’re not ambitious – that’s rubbish. You don’t play contact sport without having ambition. Financially, we haven’t got the backing to make it happen.

Elgin City chairman Graham Tatters.

“It is getting more and more expensive to run a side since the pyramid system came in. That has put up the wage bills in League 2 by at least 40%. It has made a massive difference.

“The last three clubs to win League 2 – Cove Rangers, Queen’s Park and Kelty Hearts – had really good support and showed what you can do.

“Of course, it’s not just about money and these were all really good sides. But look at Kelty – they took Nathan Austin from Caley Thistle and also had Dylan Easton and Thomas Reilly, who were quality players who were really above our level. Best of luck to them.

“Yes, I’m jealous, but they were all the best sides we played against.”

Four recruits on manager’s radar

The Moray club’s chairman revealed manager Gavin Price is planning to strengthen four key areas of the squad as he backed Elgin to return to the promotion chase next term.

He said: “We’re looking at three or four players to come in. We need another striker and we need to strengthen up the back line.

“Sparky (Euan Spark) has moved on, which is a shame because he’s been a really solid player for us.

“I think Gavin’s looking at bringing in a centre half, a left-back, a central midfielder and a striker. It’s difficult to put pressure on Kane Hester all the time.

Elgin City manager Gavin Price.

“We also will have a sprinkling of young lads on the bench who could make a breakthrough.

“We have been to the play-offs over the years, with us just minutes away against Edinburgh City from getting through (to the play-off final) last year.

“You don’t become a bad club with bad players overnight. I am sure we will be stronger next season.

“The squad all know what to expect.

“I’m hoping no club just strides away with the league. I think it could be a lot more competitive.

“If you look from below fourth place last season, there was not much between most clubs.”

Towler was star on loan from Dons

Tatters, meanwhile, predicts a bright future for Aberdeen defender Evan Towler, who shone when on loan at Borough Briggs this season.

He explained City would have loved to extend his stay, but Tatters is sure Towler is destined for a higher level before making a push for game time at Pittodrie.

He said: “Jevan Anderson (on loan from Cove Rangers) was excellent for us, while the star of the show was Evan Towler.

“Evan was outstanding and it was a pity we couldn’t get him again, but for his career he needs to move up.

“It wouldn’t surprise me if he moved to a Championship club (on loan) next season. He’s that good right now.

“For a young lad, at 17, he has such a mature head on his shoulders.

“In the first game, he played, he came off the bench to go left-back. He got the ball and drove forward with confidence. The whole stand at that side loved it and he couldn’t do a thing wrong from that point on.

Defender Evan Towler, who was on loan from Aberdeen, played 19 times for Elgin City this season.

“He’s a high-quality player. We had the Aberdeen manager at the time, Stephen Glass, and (former Aberdeen captain) Scott Brown here watching him. The club clearly have high hopes for him.

“Evan’s at a club where they are bringing young players through.

“At the top level, in England, they just buy someone if they need them. In Scotland, we bring more of our own players through.

“We’re desperately trying to do that at Elgin – we have 175 kids in our academy and, if you get one a year, you’re doing well.”

Rose can flourish in League 2

Lowland League champions Bonnyrigg Rose, who beat Highland League winners Fraserburgh in the pyramid play-off semi-finals, have one foot in League 2 after sweeping past basement side Cowdenbeath 3-0 in the first leg of their final on Saturday.

Elgin chief Tatters, who praised Cowdenbeath’s late-season form, is sure Rose, should they gain promotion, will fit in well to the fourth-tier of senior Scottish football.

Bonnyrigg Rose are looking strong for a place in League 2 next season.

He said: “Bonnyrigg seem a well-run club, and that came across when we were on Zoom chats.

“Most clubs are run by guys who all want it to work the best they can. There are no superstars or millionaires at this level.

“Over the past two years, the relationships between the League 2 clubs has been unbelievable. Everyone just wants to help one another, which is fantastic.”

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