Clachnacuddin manager Jordan MacDonald says adding Highland League experience and creating competition for places was key after making eight new signings.
The Lilywhites have made the additions ahead of starting the 2020-21 season against Turriff United this Saturday.
Goalkeeper David Aitchison returns to the club, while fellow custodian Daniel Rae arrives from North Caledonian side Inverness Athletic.
In midfield Allan MacPhee has joined from Forres Mechanics for the season, Scott Morrison has been recruited from Strathspey Thistle, ex-Inverness City player Graeme Stewart also signs and Martin Laing returns to Grant Street Park six years after leaving for Inverurie Locos, and having been out of the Highland League for the past two years following his Harlaw Park departure.
Attackers James Fraser – signed from Strathspey – and James McLaren, formerly of Deveronvale, Rothes, Lossiemouth and Dufftown, complete Clach’s signing spree.
Boss MacDonald was appointed in September after Sandy McLeod stepped down and felt it was important to increase the depth within the Clachnacuddin squad.
He said: “We’re delighted to sign the boys. We needed to add quality to the squad.
“We’ve got some good young players at the club and some good experienced players as well, but we felt we needed to add depth to it.
“We wanted it to be more competitive and to have more competition for places and that’s what we’ve got with these signings.
“We want to have competition because it drives up standards and when we took over we said that it needs to be better.
“Finishing third bottom last season is not good enough for a club the size of Clach.
“When we came in our idea was to take quality in to improve the squad and improve the standards at training.
“We wanted to make sure everyone knew that at training and in the pre-season games you have to put the work in and, if you put the work in, you’ll be rewarded.
“Everyone has bought into that so we’re quite happy.
“There’s a lot of Highland League experience in there, which I think is important.
“It’s good to add that to the experienced players we’ve already got at the club.
“We needed to add to the squad and it’s not always easy to do, but we’re pleased we’ve managed to bring in that experience.”
After finishing 15th last season MacDonald is looking for an improvement this term from Clachnacuddin and believes the togetherness within the Inverness outfit’s squad will help them climb the table.
The former Inverness City player and manager added: “We’re looking to create more chances and score more goals.
SQUAD UPDATEThe club are pleased to tonight provide an update on the new faces who have joined up with the squad over…
“We have to build confidence because confidence was very low when we came in.
“To start with training was a bit quiet and there could be groups or cliques, but we’ve got rid of that and everyone is in it together and there’s a brilliant atmosphere around the group.
“At training it’s very spiky in a good way because we’ve spoken to them about competition for places and, if you’re not doing it training and not knocking on the door or not turning up for training, then you make our job very easy.
“But we’ve had great numbers at training and everyone has bought into it, which is great.”
Clach were scheduled to start their season against Nairn County on Saturday.
However, a County player testing positive for Covid-19 led to the game being postponed, with Clach now preparing to face Turriff at Grant Street Park this weekend.
MacDonald said: “We were all geared up to go on Saturday, but we hope that everyone at Nairn is fit and healthy and we get ready for this Saturday now.
“We’re desperate to get going, it’s been the longest pre-season anybody has ever done.
“But’s given us extra time to get across our ideas and how we want the team to play and the players are just desperate to start now.”