Inverurie Locos boss Andy Low wants to make his side a regular challenger for trophies after extending his Harlaw Park stay to 2024.
Low signed a new contract this week and hopes the results of their off-season work can be shown if and when a shortened Highland League season gets underway.
Locos made the final of last year’s Aberdeenshire Shield, losing 3-1 to Fraserburgh, and were second when the Highland League season ended in March.
Their only two trophies since 2009 have been the Shield in 2014 and 2017 and Low wants that to be a more regular occurrence in the coming years.
He said: “Over the last few years Locos haven’t been in cup finals and have not really played like they were competing for the Highland League title. Brora Rangers and Cove have been clear winners.
“I want Locos to win it or be in a position where they feel close to winning it. That’s my ambition over the next three or four years.
“I feel we’ve got a young, exciting group that I like working with. We’re looking to go in a different direction to what the club has in the last few years and I have done that with the signings I’ve made.
“I think there’s a gap between Locos and Brora at this moment in time but I’m hoping with the work we’ve done and the signings we’ve made, we have closed that.”
Joining Low in signing new deals at Locos are his assistant Steven Park, first-team coach Richard Davidson and goalkeeping coach John Farquhar.
Locos are due to face champions Brora on the first day of the season, which had been pencilled in for November 28 prior to Wednesday night’s league management committee meeting.
The season had already been reduced to 16 games – teams playing each other just once – and Low feels this could be one of the more difficult seasons to win the title.
He added: “We’ve got Brora in the first game of the season, if the fixtures stay as they are. In the back of our minds, that’s the one we have got to prepare for.
“Whoever comes through this season and wins it – I think it’s going to be one of the toughest to win.
“If you go on and win it, you deserve a lot of credit as you’re probably going to have to win nearly all of your games. There’s no second half of the season, so you’ve just got to hit the ground running.
“There’s no right answers. Everyone has been doing things differently. It will be interesting to see who’s done the best preparation over this period.”