Highland League champions Cove Rangers are poised to complete the signing of Brora attacker Steven Mackay on a two-and-a-half-year contract.
The 35-year-old could make his debut in today’s Evening Express Aberdeenshire Cup final against Buckie Thistle at the Haughs, Turriff, if the paperwork in completed by noon today.
Cove saw off competition from six other Highland League club to sign a player who scorer 95 goals in Brora’s successive championship wins in 2014 and 2015.
Inverness-based Mackay said: “Hopefully, the paperwork will be done to allow me to be part of the squad for the cup final. If I could play a part in a Cove victory that really would be a dream debut for me.
“The last couple of days have been a bit of a whirlwind. I have had a lot of very interesting conversations with several Highland League clubs since I handed in my transfer request. It’s nice to know clubs wanted me.
“Cove are challenging for titles and the fact they are moving to a new stadium and want to get into the SPFL ticked the boxes for me. It’s something I want to be a part of.”
Cove manager John Sheran said: “I’m delighted. We have been chasing Steven and it’s great we are close to getting the deal done. He is a great player. Steven trained with us for two or three months when Brora won the title a couple of years ago as he was working in Aberdeen at the time, so he knows most of the squad already and we know him.
“Since we lost Jamie Watt at the end of last season we have been missing a natural goalscorer and I have no doubt we will sign a top-class forward who I have admired for a long time.”
If Mackay does make the Cove team this afternoon, he will be facing a former Brora team-mate in John McLeod, who has already scored an incredible 29 goals this season.
McLeod scored five goals in last Saturday’s 6-2 Scottish Cup victory at Gretna and is expected a formidable challenge against the Granite City club this afternoon.
He said: “Although we beat Cove 3-2 at the beginning of the season I still think they will be favourites.
“We will be up against some very experienced defenders in the likes of Cove captain Eric Watson and big Stuart Walker, but I like to prove myself against the best, so I’m looking forward to the challenge.
“I’ve never played in an Aberdeenshire final before and I can’t wait.”