Brora Rangers chairman William Powrie has thanked their Championship neighbours Caley Thistle for help with their Covid-19 testing.
To get their Scottish Cup tie against Hearts played on March 23, Brora must undertake three rounds of testing prior to the game.
Mercifully for the Highland League champions, after conducting the first round of tests at the weekend, all results came back negative and the club has been able to resume training this week.
The Cattachs welcome Hearts to Dudgeon Park in their second round tie in less than two weeks, which will be their first game since January.
The clubs first round of COVID-19 testing has come back all negative and we are now clear to resume training this week!
Thank you to @ICTFC and Cignpost diagnostics for all their help in the process.
— Brora Rangers (@brorarangers) March 8, 2021
Powrie said: “They have been very kind to us in the past and we would like to think we can accommodate them when we can. It always helps when you’re going into a situation if someone else is already doing it.
“The results were sent straight away to St Andrews and all came back within 24 hours.
“The players had their tests on Saturday and got a clean sheet there. It’s like anything, once you’ve got a system it becomes more manageable and everyone knows what to do.
“We’re managing just fine and the players have been undertaking training by themselves. But we can now bring them back.”
Powrie hopes the Hearts game can be a revenue generator for the club, in what would likely have been a capacity crowd in normal circumstances.
He added: “We have had some pretty big games. We were down at Kilmarnock a few years back and I would put that as a bigger game. But Hearts are a big club and it will be lovely to welcome them to Brora.
“We’ve put a lot of work into our TV offering, so we hope to be able to attract fans both local and further afield.”
The backdrop to Brora’s return to action is that they have no idea when – or if – the Highland League season is going to finish.
The league has been on pause since January with only a handful of games played and Powrie believes a decision will have to come sooner rather than later.
He said: “We’re just waiting for instructions to get cascaded down to us and we’ll do what’s necessary.
“If the Highland League were to put forward a representative for the pyramid play-offs, there would have to be a conclusion to the league, a nominated champion or whatever the league management committee decide is best.
“Although we’ve heard notification of League One and Two playing again, I think any mention of the pyramid play-offs has been conspicuous by its absence.
“I don’t think we can really delay too much longer, in making a decision if it’s going to be continued. Time is running out and I wouldn’t like the season rolling into time allocated for next season, as you’ll then have disruption to two seasons.”