Future is rosy in Grantown for Strathspey Thistle midfielder Ross Naismith

Strathspey Thistle midfielder Ross Naismith. Picture: Andrew Smith.
Strathspey Thistle midfielder Ross Naismith. Picture: Andrew Smith.

Strathspey Thistle have enjoyed a record-breaking campaign but Grantown midfielder Ross Naismith reckons there is still plenty of room for improvement.

The Jags have eclipsed their previous best points-tally and are set for their highest-yet Highland League finish – with Gordon Nicholson’s side currently 13th in the table.

Former Nairn County midfielder Naismith attributes a lot of the improvement to Nicholson’s dedication, while also crediting the staff behind the scenes for investing in the club.

Strathy were beaten 2-1 by Wick Academy last weekend, with 2017 champions Buckie Thistle visiting Seafield Park this Saturday.

The next target for the Strathspey Jags is 40 points and Naismith wants them to establish themselves as a regular mid-table side.

He said: “If we can start competing in the middle of the table, that’s where we would like to get to.

“I have been here just over a year but the directors and the management were fed up being down the bottom of the table and wanted to change that.

“They’ve invested in the club and it’s been a really quick turnaround. But it’s good for the club and the Highland League, as it’s more competitive and you can’t just turn teams over like you used to. Gordy comes in every team-talk saying ‘that’s another record broken’.

“Our home form has been terrible in the past but it’s now the best it’s ever been. We don’t want teams to like coming up here. Gordy’s enthusiasm has a lot do with it and the club means a lot to him.

“At the start of the season the aim was just to beat the best points total and we had done that by the halfway point of the season.  We’ve already got 30 points, so the next target is 40.

“We don’t want to be in the bottom three or four, we want to be pushing the top 10.”

The goals of Scott Lisle have been a key factor in Strathspey’s resurgence, with the ex-Brora Rangers man bagging 18 so far this season.

Naismith added: “It just seems to be players who’ve been at different clubs and maybe not had their chance, with a point to prove. There are a few youthful guys in the team and a few boys that have been here a while that are now getting the chance they deserve.”