Neil McLean is Mr Inverurie Locos but the veteran insists his decision to commit to a 17th campaign with the club was not an easy one.
The Locos captain has signed a one-year extension to keep him at Harlaw Park until the summer of 2021, when he will be 40, and while he knows father time is catching up with him he believes he is still fit enough to play a leading role.
When asked if it was an easy decision to sign on, he said: “Yes and no. There are more variables to weigh up now that I’m that bit older and have to think about the time commitment playing in the Highland League involves.
“At the end of this season I will be 39 so I certainly have the feeling that my days are numbered. However, my body and fitness are holding up and I still enjoy training and playing.
“I’ve had a good chat with the manager about where I am in his plans. We have a young squad coming through and it’s important we keep the continuity for next season.”
Locos are second in the table under manager Andy Low and assistant Steven Park, and McLean believes next season can be even better for the club.
He said: “I can only say Andy’s influence has been positive since taking over. He is a young manager who is ambitious and passionate about the job.
“The players feed of his enthusiasm and you see the reaction in training and games. I’ve played alongside Andy and Steven, so know how they conducted themselves and how good they were to play alongside.
“They are just the same now and want to win as much as we possibly can.
“There will be more to come from the management team once they get a full
pre-season together with the squad.”
McLean is in the squad for today’s Highland League match at Buckie Thistle while Jonny Smith is also added, but Neil Gauld is a doubt with a hamstring strain.
Locos also last night confirmed midfielder Craig Gill and forward Kyle Gordon have signed contract extensions to stay at the club until summer 2023.
Meanwhile, four of today’s Highland fixtures have been postponed due to waterlogged pitches with Brora Rangers v Formartine United, Fort William v Huntly, Forres Mechanics v Fraserburgh and Wick Academy v Strathspey Thistle all called off this morning.