Keith defender Ryan Robertson reckons the Maroons are capable of hitting new heights under Andy Roddie.
Former Aberdeen midfielder Roddie was unveiled earlier this month as the Maroons’ new boss, with the Highland League season due to start this weekend.
Both Roddie and club chairman Andy Troup have spoken of their ambitions – with aspirations of challenging for silverware.
Defender Robertson, brother of ex-Don and current Rotherham defender Clark, believes the squad is capable of fulfilling those ambitions.
He said: “We’ve been progressing pretty steadily over the last two or three seasons and I don’t see why the squad can’t go on and better what we have done.
“We’re definitely getting closer to the top teams. We always give them a game. We pick up the odd result here and there, like beating Formartine last season.
“It’s more about having the belief that we can beat these teams, where in seasons gone by there was maybe a bit more of a fear factor. Building on last season, there’s more of an air of confidence that we’re more than capable of going to those teams and getting a result.
“If we’ve got aspirations of finishing in the top six then we’ve got to be picking up results against the big boys.
“The ambitions they (Roddie and Troup) have got are matched by the squad. We’re all ambitious to play at the highest level we can.”
Keith start the season away to Inverurie Locos on Saturday, which will be Roddie and assistant Tommy Wilson’s first game in charge.
It has been an “unusual” pre-season for Robertson, with the previous manager Dean Donaldson resigning last month, citing family commitments.
Robertson added: “The previous management team had their reasons and decided to call it a day.
“We went four or five weeks without a manager, so we were meeting up by ourselves as a squad.
“It was a bit disjointed, but there’s a buzz about the team with the new management team in place.
“Everyone seems really positive and the squad is raring to go.”
Keith finished 10th when the league was curtailed last season and with Roddie and Wilson, who were previously in charge of Huntly, at the helm, hopes are high of an improvement.
Robertson said: “The squad is getting stronger each year. The younger players coming in have gained more experience and the new signings made over the last couple of years have been good additions.
“It’s one of the strongest squads I’ve seen in my time at Keith. We improved on our league position from the season before and we want to keep building that momentum year on year.
“Cup competitions, for a lot of teams, is where you’re going to look for success.”