Max Ewan hopes Nairn County can continue to grow after an impressive few seasons under Ronnie Sharp’s stewardship.
Nairn, who travel to Formartine United today, have steadily improved since Sharp returned to the club in 2016 and have kept the majority of their squad intact from last season.
The recruitment of Scott Davidson from Brora Rangers last year gave them a proven goalscorer, to add to Ewan and fellow forward Liam Shewan.
Ewan said: “We’ve had one addition – Calum Howarth – and the rest of the squad has been building over the last few years.
“It’s made us a really strong team and we’ve grown together. Calum has been a good signing and Scott Davidson has been really good after coming in last season.
“The first game back was in the Scottish Cup and that could have gone any way, having not played for so long. I felt we were unlucky against Fraserburgh – that could have gone either way.
“It’s been good to have a couple of games in the Scottish Cup to break us in and now we can look forward to going away.”
Their victory over Broxburn Athletic in the Scottish Cup last weekend followed up a win over Threave Rovers, with League One side Montrose visiting the Highlands next week.
Nairn’s last game prior to the shutdown of football earlier this year was a 6-0 defeat at home against Formartine at Station Park.
Ewan added: “It’s one of the toughest challenges you can get. They’re a really good team and we have had a couple of good results in the last couple of years against them. We have also taken a couple of heavy defeats though.
“We had a really good season and didn’t know that was going to be the last game. It was a rubbish way to end it and hopefully we can go put that right.”
Formartine manager Paul Lawson, meanwhile, hopes his side can transfer their impressive cup form into the Highland League.
The Pitmedden outfit face League Two side Annan Athletic in the second round of the Scottish Cup next weekend.
He said: “I’ve said it before – our league performance has not been good enough. Inconsistency has been an issue.
“You could argue this year is slightly different because it’s a shortened season, but we still need to improve on our league form. The cups have been great and it’s really enjoyable getting to finals, but our league form needs to improve and that’s been the aim for the outset.
“We’re looking forward to getting back to league duty. We got off to a good start against Turriff, but it’s been unfortunate we haven’t been able to add to that.”