Buckie Thistle manager Graeme Stewart has given his support to the plan to complete the 2019-20 Highland League Cup completed behind closed doors.
The semi-finals of last season’s tournament – Brora Rangers v Buckie at Dudgeon Park and Formartine United v Rothes at North Lodge Park – will be played on October 17 behind closed doors with the games streamed live online.
The final will be played a week later at a venue yet to be decided, with the Highland League acting swiftly in recent days to get the necessary arrangements in place.
Earlier this week the start date for the 2020-21 Highland League season was pushed back from October 17 until November 28 at the earliest following news that supporters won’t be allowed to return to stadiums this month.
Despite that there is a will among the clubs involved to complete the 2019-20 Highland League Cup this month.
Jags manager Stewart said: “Hearing about the idea it’s something I’m in favour of and if they’re able to stream it that’s a big thing.
“Instead of getting 500 or 600 at the game as you might normally, with the way things are you might get a few thousand Highland League fans trying to watch it.
“There are people with Highland League connections all over the world, who I’m sure would be interested in watching.
“If the games were to just be played behind closed doors it would be unfortunate.
“Although it’s not the same as being there, if the league is able to stream the games then I’m all for it and, if the league and the clubs involved could make a few quid out of it, that would be even better.”
For Stewart the Highland League Cup also gives Buckie the chance to win a trophy for the first time since claiming the Highland League in 2017.
That’s something he’s keen to focus on and added: “Regardless of how it’s played it’s a chance of silverware for the teams involved.
“I feel what our team at Buckie needs to do is win something. It’s three years since we won the league and this is a different team from then that hasn’t won anything yet.
“I’ve said to the players to be thought of in the same bracket as Brora, Fraserburgh and Formartine – who have all won trophies recently – they need to win silverware.
“There are a few players still at the club from when we won the league, but this is a new team that to get to the next level needs to win something.
“If you do that then it breeds confidence and, if we could do it, then we’d be more confident going into the league campaign as a result.”