Rothes manager Ross Jack insists his side’s feel-good factor remains intact ahead of today’s rearranged Highland League Cup final against Buckie Thistle.
The Speysiders take on Buckie at the second attempt at Christie Park today, after last weekend’s showpiece was called off due to a waterlogged pitch at Kynoch Park.
Rothes defeated Formartine United after extra-time in their semi final a fortnight ago, following on from an impressive third placed finish in last season’s Highland League.
Jack insists the prolonged wait has done nothing to thwart his side’s hunger to win the competition for the first time in the club’s history.
Jack said: “We were high and up for it, no doubt the same as Buckie were, so it was a disappointment.
“It wouldn’t have been a spectacle if the pitch was heavy, and people viewing wouldn’t have witnessed what the Highland League can offer in its true sense.
“It will be good to hopefully get a nice dry pitch, a good day to showcase what the league is all about.
“The players are well aware of what it means, and they are focused on getting the job done.
“It’s a huge chance for them. I think it’s only Paul Macleod, Gregg Main and Bruce Milne that have a medal from this competition, so the rest are eager to get alongside them.
“It’s a huge task, but we are as prepared as we can be. There is that buzz still going around, so we have to put that to good use against a difficult opponent.
“Buckie had a fantastic result up at Brora, not that we would ever take them lightly anyway.
“It’s going to be a tough ask but we are up for it.”
Jack says the postponement has allowed injury doubts such as Alan Pollock and Jack Brown more time to recover, while former Aberdeen winger Sean Linden has joined after spending time on trial with Elgin City.
Jack added: “Hopefully we will have a larger squad to choose from this weekend, it has allowed one or two guys an opportunity to force their way into the reckoning.”
Buckie will also be able to call upon more options, with Sam Morrison returning after being forced to self-isolate following close contact with a positive Covid-19 case.
Fellow defender Lewis MacKinnon has also returned to training after suffering a hamstring injury in the semi final victory over league champions Brora Rangers.
With Buckie having not won the competition since 2012, manager Graeme Stewart is eager to fulfil his own ambitions by claiming the Jags’ first silverware since the league title three years ago.
Stewart added: “We would rather have played the game on the day, but being honest it probably has helped us a bit.
“It allows for better preparation because we only trained once last week after the Brora game took a lot out of us.
“But we’ve been able to train twice this week and if you’re looking for positives it maybe wasn’t a bad thing the game got called off.
“It would be unbelievable not just for Buckie, but for the last seven or eight months people have had a lot of hardship and there have been things away from football that are a lot more important.
“Having come through that to win a trophy would be great for Buckie.
“It’s massive for the club and the players because I convince players to come to the club by telling them they’ll win leagues and cups and we’ve not done it for three years.
“It’s eight years since we’ve won this competition, so it would strengthen my hopes of making Buckie one of the best teams in the Highland League, I think we are that now and I hope we can get better.”