Brora Rangers assistant manager Craig Campbell believes the club could compete among the best in League 2 if they were given a place in the SPFL.
The Cattachs look set to miss out on promotion to the Scottish leagues this year after the collapse of reconstruction talks. However, the club have not given up hope.
With the scrapping of the end-of-season pyramid play-offs, which would have pitted champions Brora against Lowland League winners Kelty Hearts, the two clubs have worked closely together to get their cause heard.
Brora have beaten SPFL sides in the Scottish Cup in recent seasons and held Championship side Morton to a draw in the Scottish Cup, giving Campbell belief they would offer something credible to the SPFL.
Campbell said: “I firmly believe the top end of the Highland League can more than old their own in the Scottish leagues. It’s not a huge jump up. We had Morton in the Scottish Cup this season and put in a good performance against a full-time team.
“We would be looking to go in and compete for the play-offs at least.
“There’s huge differences financially and I would think the budget would be slightly bigger if we were in League 2 and potentially we could attract a better standard of player as well. You’ll probably have ambitious players out there who want to play at the highest level they can.”
Aberdeen chairman Dave Cormack revealed last Friday that Premiership clubs would not vote for reconstruction, which dealt the Cattachs a huge blow.
Chairman William Powrie likened it to the “grand old Duke of York, being marched up the hill and back down again”.
Campbell added: “It’s a bit frustrating when you’re hearing rumours. Not being involved, for us and Kelty Hearts, would be a bit of a kick in the teeth for the hard work we’ve put in. Both are ambitious clubs and I think we would do well.
“We’re just getting the cold shoulder and I can understand teams in League 2 might be looking over their shoulders, as to not invite teams into the league. You see how well Cove and Edinburgh City have done.
“It’s not the way we wanted to win the league, but we believed we would go on to win it anyway, then look forward to the play-offs.
“I don’t think the club was ready to make the progression last time, but we had a couple of meetings at the start of the season and the aim was to win the league and have a good shot at the play-offs.”
With the majority of their players being based in Inverness, travelling would not represent a significant burden, with Brora 60 miles north of the Highland capital.
Campbell said: “The majority of boys we’ve got have done it and there’s only a few that have not played in the Scottish leagues. Travelling is a big thing, but the boys want to compete at the highest level they can.
“We briefly mentioned it when boys signed new contracts. Most of them wanted to have another crack at it. I think they realise their Saturdays are given up for football.”