The Breedon Highland League title race is likely to go down to the wire, according to Andy Low.
Nine points separate the top six in the division at this stage with Fraserburgh leading the way.
However, Brechin City are only three points behind with Rothes a further two points adrift.
Fourth-placed Inverurie Locos are on 37 points with Brora Rangers a point further back and Buckie Thistle on 34.
Low was part of the Buckie squad which won back-to-back titles in 2010 and 2011 and was player-coach when the Jags won the league in 2017 and has been an interested observer in recent weeks.
He said: “It’s been interesting to follow in recent weeks, you’re now seeing a clear divide in the league table.
“There’s the top seven which a lot of people predicted pulling a way a bit.
“The games between the top teams will be really important.
“It’s an interesting league table and I think it will be as close a title race as we’ve seen for a few years.
“In recent seasons there’s been a team like Brora or Cove who have run away with it.
“But I don’t see that happening until the closing stages, I think it will go down to the wire this season.”
Low ready for dugout return
Low stepped down as manager of Inverurie Locos in August to spend more time with his family.
Although he is in no rush Low is now keen to return to coaching and management.
He added: “I am missing it, there’s no doubt about that. The time with my family has been really important and I’m really enjoying that.
“I’m trying to keep busy, I’ve done a couple of courses through the SFA and I’m watching games because I think it’s important you keep your eye in so if opportunities do come in the future I’m still relevant.
“If you pull yourself away from the Highland League for a couple of years I don’t think you can come straight back in and say you know the league.
“I’m trying to stay active and watch players and teams because at some point in the future I would like to come back into some sort of role in the Highland League.”