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Huntly and Inverurie Locos aim for final say in Aberdeenshire Shield

Huntly manager Allan Hale.
Huntly manager Allan Hale wants to lead the Black and Golds into their first final since 2008

Huntly manager Allan Hale has challenged his players to end the club’s final drought.

The Black and Golds take on Inverurie Locos in the semi-final of the Morrison Motors (Turriff) Aberdeenshire Shield at Christie Park.

Huntly last reached a final in 2008 and Hale is determined to change that.

He said: “It has been a long time since the club was in a final and that’s well known.

“Every time you’re in a semi-final the incentive is there to try to go that step further.

“Players have a short career and when you look back on your career you want to look back fondly having won some medals.

“Everyone wants to win trophies and our squad is no different – regardless of how long it’s been.

“We’ve overcome two difficult ties already and the challenge is to overcome another difficult one.”

Hastings seeks first final as manager

Inverurie’s last trophy was the Aberdeenshire Shield in the 2016-17 season.

Richard Hastings is aiming to reach his first final as manager after taking over at Harlaw Park in August.

He added: “I have that ambition to be successful and you see it within the squad and within the club and it’s really good to see.

Richard Hastings is looking to reach his first final as Inverurie Locos manager

“I’ve posed the question to the players ‘who has won something at the club?’

“Some of them have and some of them haven’t and it’s a chance for some of them to get their first trophy with Inverurie.

“There’s a lot riding on it. For myself as a manager it’s the ambitions you have.

“Not everyone can win everything, but we’ve got a chance being in the last four and we want to make the most of it.”

Form on Locos’ side

Huntly and Inverurie have met twice already this season with the Railwaymen prevailing on both occasions.

They won 2-1 in the Breedon Highland League and 1-0 in the GPH Builders Merchants Highland League Cup.

But Hastings says they’ll need to be more clinical if they are to record a third win against the Black and Golds.

He said: “We feel we created and missed chances in the last game to have gone and won more comfortably.

“But we didn’t take our chances so I’m looking for us to be more clinical in front of goal.

“We have concentrated on that with the attackers. We train as a squad, but we do brake off and players get to hone their individual skills.

“That’s an area we’ve looked at it, the boys have done great, but I’m always wanting to be even better.”

Hale believes Huntly are capable of reversing the recent form and setting up a final meeting with either Buckie Thistle or Banks o’ Dee.

He added: “We need to try to impose ourselves on the game, we’ve got quality in our team and we need to show that.

“We need to play without fear and have belief in our quality as a group.

“I’ve got a lot of belief in the players and I feel if we play to our capabilities then we’re a good side.

“The challenge for us is to try to get that consistency from young players which allows us to pick up positives results.”

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