Fort William manager Calum MacLean expects to receive a smaller batch of Caley Thistle players on loan next season.
The Lochaber outfit agreed a partnership with Inverness last summer after the Championship side had failed in its attempt to enter a colts team into the Highland League.
Fort would likely receive a fresh batch of youngsters, with the majority of last season’s nine loanees having since been released by Caley Jags. However, MacLean reckons that number will be reduced next term.
He said: “We don’t know what is going to happen with the Caley Thistle boys, but I think we will get less players this year. It’s a three-year thing where we got nine first, then it will get dropped down to five next season and then maybe two the following year.
“It was to be something like that. I’m hoping to get some of them – we will need them.
“It will help us. I knew most of the local ones through my times in charge before and I know when I left they were all scunnered with getting battered every week. That’s why a lot of them left.
“The Caley Thistle boys are good players and it will bring them on too. They were a joy to have – they were very polite, and no bother at all. They mixed in with the locals here and got on very well.”
MacLean signed a new one-year deal at Claggan Park last month, having returned for a third stint in charge in January.
Although Fort William were bottom of the Highland League when the season was stopped, MacLean remains convinced they would have risen from the foot of the table.