Fraserburgh manager Mark Cowie insists an eagerness to repay the club’s faith in youth was behind his squad’s decision to waive their wages during the coronavirus shutdown.
With clubs having agreed to end the Highland League season, Broch’s players and management have agreed to forego their wages until they return to action next term.
All money which was paid to squad for the month of March was also handed back, in order to be donated to the club’s youth development programme.
Cowie praised the character of his squad, insisting the idea was forged among the first team players.
Cowie said: “It didn’t actually come from me – it came from the players themselves. That makes it more of a great gesture, as something they wanted to do to help out everybody in this situation.
“We are all one big family really, so we want to look after the youngsters and put something back into the club that has been so good to us over many years.”
Cowie says the gesture highlights the collective spirit among the Bellslea ranks, where the majority of the first team players have come through the youth ranks to help Broch compete for silverware.
Cowie, who steered Fraserburgh to an Aberdeenshire Cup and Shield double this season, added: “From the guy who walks in as a 14 or 15-year-old, to the likes of Scott Barbour, Willie West and Ryan Christie, they all get treated the same.
“That’s why the testimonials are so frequent at our club, because guys want to stay.
“As long as we are challenging for trophies, which luckily enough we are just now, they see us as a club they don’t want to leave.
“That’s great for me, it makes my job a lot easier.”
Ryan Sargent and Logan Watt are among the latest youngsters to come through the Aberdeenshire side’s youth programme, and Cowie hopes the club can continue to make the most of the talent coming through.
Cowie added: “It’s how we get our players – we probably rely on our youth setup more than anybody else.
“We put a lot of work into the youth side of things, we want the youngsters to have everything at their fingertips to give them the best chance of succeeding.”