Brora Rangers manager Steven Mackay hopes winger Ali Sutherland can make an immediate impact for the Cattachs in their pyramid play-off matches against Kelty Hearts.
Sutherland joined his hometown club from Rothes in March, but was ruled out of Brora’s Scottish Cup fixtures due to being cup tied.
The 24-year-old, who previously had a loan stint with Brora from Caley Thistle in 2016, is clear to play in the Cattachs’ play-off fixtures, and could feature in tonight’s first leg at Dudgeon Park.
Sutherland struggled for game time with Elgin City after leaving Inverness in 2017, but since switching to Rothes the following year he has become a stand-out performer for Ross Jack’s side.
The Speysiders enjoyed a memorable campaign last season, in which they finished third in the Highland League and won the Highland League Cup.
Mackay expects to have a full strength squad at his disposal this week, and says the addition of Sutherland gives him another strong option to unleash.
Mackay said: “We have got the added bonus of Ali Sutherland who we added to our squad recently.
“He’s eligible to play which is great and he gives us a different option. He has been training with us for the last few weeks and he has been looking sharp. He has integrated well into the group.
“He’s a welcome addition to the squad. He’s a player we have been tracking over the last couple of seasons.
“The move to Rothes was good for him in terms of playing every week, growing in confidence and growing his profile.
“In the two games he played against us he gave us some real problems in terms of his movement and work ethic.
“He’s a real threat with the ball at his feet, he’s very direct. We are delighted to get him board and hopefully he will play an important part over the next couple of games.”
Following tonight’s game, Brora will make the trip to New Central Park for Saturday’s second leg.
Should Brora get the better of the Lowland League winners over both matches, they will face another two-legged tie against Brechin City for a place in League Two next season.
With attention firstly on the tie against Kelty, Mackay says he has been working overtime throughout the weekend to study footage of Barry Ferguson’s men.
He added: “I got to see Kelty earlier in the season in a midweek game. That was maybe six to eight months ago.
“A lot has changed since then, although their personnel hasn’t changed significantly.
“I’ve got an awareness of their squad and their team, how they play and where their threats lie.
“It’s good to refresh my memory on them and get a good look at them, there is plenty of footage online. It has been a weekend of watching YouTube videos for me, to do some due diligence on Kelty.”