Nairn County captain Adam Porritt is eager to make up for lost time – after he and eight team-mates spent the last two weeks in self-isolation.
Following a positive Covid-19 diagnosis in the Nairn camp on November 29, nine players were forced to isolate after being identified as close contacts, which saw games against Clach and Keith called off.
The original number had been as high as 15, prior to discussions between the Scottish FA and NHS Highland which saw six able to return to work.
Porritt, however, was one of the unlucky group who had to stay off work until their isolation period was up on Sunday morning. His infant son, who turned one during his time off, has kept him occupied he has gone no further than putting the bins outside his house.
Nairn should now have a full complement of players heading into this weekend’s Scottish Cup clash with Threave Rovers, which should have supporters present at Station Park.
Porritt said: “I think something like this is going to make lads hungrier to get out of the blocks. It was just so annoying three days before the start of the season and a home derby.
“It was a total shock to us all but it’s one of those things. As soon as the boy (who tested positive) said to the club, we were informed straight away so we could finish up at work and lock ourselves away for two weeks.
Unfortunately this Saturdays fixture vs Keith FC has been postponed due to several of our club personnel continuing to self isolate.
Thankfully we still only have had the one positive test and the person involved continues to report mild symptoms.
— Nairn County FC (@NairnCounty) December 2, 2020
“My son turned one during the time I was locked away, which was a bit manic, but I could to spend some time with him. I’ve been doing bits and pieces around the house.
“My work have been pretty good to me. My boss, David Dowling, is involved with Brora and his son Scott is at Clach. They understand I play football and it’s totally outwith my control.
“The only positive is it’s not happened over the festive period, where boys would have had plans to go and see family.”
Nairn had to cancel a pre-season friendly with Caley Thistle on the day of the diagnosis and the league opener four days later against Clach, which would have both seen spectators back in their ground.
A small group of unaffected players have been able to keep training but with a significant number unavailable, the Wee County had to request the Keith game on Saturday to be postponed.
After the club’s community efforts during lockdown and the support given to their players, Porritt feels they ought to be rewarded with a Scottish Cup run.
He added: “We want to repay the club and community through hard work and putting together a wee cup run. We’ll take it round by round but you never know.
“We want to progress as far as we can and bring some money into the club, as they’ve put out so much during lockdown. They’ve been generous and honoured contracts, when I know some clubs might not have.
“Ian Finlayson (secretary and Covid officer) and Donald Matheson (chairman) have done so well, it’s them I feel sorry for. They have put the correct protocols in place so for this to come out of nowhere – we know how hard they have worked behind-the-scenes to provide a safe environment for us to train in.”