Gavin Morrison feels the Brora Rangers squad is in the best shape possible to challenge for the Highland League title.
The Cattachs host Formartine United this afternoon and ex-Caley Thistle midfielder Morrison is hugely impressed with the strength in depth his side now possess.
It marks a big week for Steven Mackay’s side, who travel to Clach in midweek and then host fellow title-contenders Buckie Thistle next weekend.
Brora brought in former Ross County striker Greg Morrison in the summer, as well as Staggies loanees Tom Kelly and James Wallace, plus Jordan MacRae from Cove Rangers. Their most recent addition was Andrew MacRae, a prolific striker at Forres Mechanics, and Morrison hopes their recruitment stands them in good stead for the season ahead.
He said: “They’ve been great guys to get on board. Greg is a powerful guy and is hungry to play football, while James is a brave player with a very creative mind. Andrew was really impressive last week and Tom always gives you 100 per cent down the right.
“These guys are wanting to win trophies – they want to win their first Highland League title, or Highland League Cup. Hopefully we can give them the chance to do that.
“In the last few seasons, we’ve maybe been guilty of turning up to a few games and not having the strength in depth to change games. The team almost picked itself. We’ve got competition in every position now and if you’re not at it, you take the risk of losing your shirt.”
Morrison is braced for an important week for the Dudgeon Park side, ahead of taking on two of their rivals for the championship.
He added: “Games against Formartine are always good; they’ve dropped points early on but so have we. Without Cove, you’re looking at five sides in it at the top and teams that can take points off each other. It looks like it’ll be down to who can put a run together and stay unbeaten.
“We’ve got home ties against Formartine and Buckie Thistle, so it could be a superb week for the club. That’s what our focus is on at the moment.”
Formartine midfielder Aaron Norris feels they can drag themselves back into the title picture with a win at Dudgeon Park. United are 11 points adrift of leaders Buckie but have three games in hand.
Norris said: “It’s been a shaky start – I don’t think we’ve started off games the best we can. But the result last Saturday and on Wednesday lifts the heads a bit and boosts confidence going into Saturday.
“Brora is always a tough place to go but we know we’re more than capable of going there and winning. A win gets us right back in the mix.”
The ex-Aberdeen youngster returned to Pitmedden in the summer after leaving Peterhead, having spent part of last season on loan with Paul Lawson’s side.
He added: “With not getting game-time at Peterhead, Formartine was definitely where I wanted to come back to. I’m really enjoying it.”