Inverurie Locos boss Andy Low reckons the Railwaymen’s summer business has set them up nicely to compete at the top of the Highland League.
The Harlaw Park side have secured new deals for a clutch of players including Neil McLean, Neil Gauld, Kieran Shanks and Andy Hunter.
Low insists that leaves Locos in a stronger position than before the pandemic, with his sights set firmly on narrowing the gap on the likes of Brora Rangers and Fraserburgh.
He said: “Over the pandemic period there’s been changes in the squad but we’ve kept the nucleus and reduced the age of the squad without going out and spending money – it’s all been free transfers.
“We’ve actually come out the pandemic stronger, which I’m very happy with.
“I believe we’ve got a group that can kick on over the next two or three years and compete at the top end of the table and push for some silverware.
“We’re in a period now where we know we need to improve as a team.
“We feel there was a gap between ourselves and probably Brora and Fraserburgh, the two strongest sides.
“We’ll hopefully have bridged that gap with the signings that we’ve made in the summer – although I’m always open to someone who I think can come in and improve our starting XI.”
Locos won both of their league matches in the shortened 2020-21 season, defeating Keith 2-0 at home and Clachnacuddin 4-2 away.
The season before, the Railwaymen finished second behind Brora and reached the final of the Aberdeenshire Shield before losing to Fraserburgh.
The club’s 2016-17 Shire Shield win is the last time Locos tasted trophy success and, to Low, bringing silverware to Harlaw Park is just as important as narrowing the gap at the top of the division.
“My target’s always to be as competitive as possible and ultimately to try to secure silverware for the club,” Low added.
“It’s been a while since we’ve done that so I want to be competing for all the silverware that’s available as well as pushing towards the top end of the table.”