Keith manager Andy Roddie is pleased his first home game in charge will be in front of supporters as they tackle Huntly in the Evening Express Aberdeenshire Cup.
Roddie and assistant Tommy Wilson will be in the Kynoch Park dugout for the first time this evening as the Maroons take on their local rivals in the quarter-final of the Shire Cup.
Moray being in Tier 1 means Keith will be backed by a limited number of supporters as they look to reach the last four.
Roddie said: “It’s a boost to be able to play in front of fans. I think we all know the fans miss the game and certainly the players miss the fans as well.
“It gives the game more of an edge of players want to show what they can do in front of the fans.
“Sadly they haven’t had that chance for the last number of months, so it will be good to get some fans in.
“And if everybody does follow the social distancing then it should be good and I hope they enjoy it.”
Keith’s last silverware was the Highland League Cup in 2013 and Roddie, who saw his side lose to 2-0 to Inverurie Locos in their Highland League curtain-raiser on Saturday, said he hopes to change that ahead of the Aberdeenshire Cup clash with Huntly.
The former Huntly manager added: “Keith have got a great background in winning silverware, albeit a number of years ago now.
“That’s something we’re aiming for to try to bring those days back to Kynoch Park.
“We were very encouraged by what we saw on Saturday. There are some very good players here and some very good young players.
“They just need a little bit of coaching, but that’s something that myself and Tommy will help with.”
Huntly manager Allan Hale is without Stuart Taylor, Liam MacDonald, Alex Thoirs, Cammy Booth, Zander Jack, Paul Esslemont and Daniel Critchard for the Aberdeenshire Cup tie with Keith due to injury.
Hale said: “It’s a bit of a challenge because most of the players that are missing are what you would call regular starters as well.
“But the players showed on Saturday (in the 1-0 loss to Rothes) that we have healthy competition within our squad because the players that played on Saturday acquitted themselves well.
“That was important when it came to our recruitment that we managed to get some depth and competition within the squad.
“Frustrating as it is – they’re all muscle injuries as well – we have a squad so we just need to work hard and get on with it.”
Hale started his Highland League managerial career with Keith in 2015, but resigned from the position two years later.
He added: “A lot of the players are still there from my time.
“They’re good players, they have a lot of energy and good technical ability and they’ll be well-organised and structed and pose a threat to us.
“We’re expecting a very tough game and it’s a local derby as well, but hopefully we can be the team that gives the better performance on the day and get through to the semi-final.
“I loved my time at Keith and I’m very grateful to (chairman) Andy Troup for giving me the opportunity at 27 years old to get my first experience as a manager in the Highland League.
“It was something I really enjoyed and the group of players we had there were excellent and I enjoyed working with all of them.
“But we’re at Huntly now and we’re enjoying working with the players we have. They’ve responded superbly to what we’ve asked of them and we’re looking forward to this game and hopefully we can come out on the right end of the result.”