Brodie Allen wants to help Huntly bridge the gap to the top sides in the Breedon Highland League and hopes to start with victory against Formartine United.
In time, the 24-year-old hopes to help Huntly to compete on a consistent basis with the likes of today’s visitors to Christie Park.
With the Strathbogie side 12th in the table, it won’t happen this season.
But Allen said: “I had an initial chat with the gaffer Allan (Hale) and the chairman (Gordon Carter) and I was blown away by how passionate both of them are about the club.
“They’ve got very ambitious plans and the gaffer told me what he thinks of me as a player and what I can add to the team.
“After that, it was always going to be difficult for me to turn down Huntly.
“We know Formartine are a good side, but it’s a good chance for us to gauge where we’re at against a top side.
“Ultimately, in time, we want to be climbing up the league and want to be around the likes of Formartine.
“We want to try to bridge the gap and the way to do that is to take the points against the top teams.
“I think we can have success at Huntly – we’ve already got a cup final (Morrison Motors (Turriff) Aberdeenshire Shield) to look forward to this season.
“Hopefully throughout my time we can go on to reach more finals and climb higher up the league as well.”
Anderson back after isolation
Meanwhile, Formartine United captain Stuart Anderson is pleased to be back involved after contracting Covid-19.
The 35-year-old midfielder said: “I’m still enjoying playing, unfortunately I caught Covid and that hit me quite bad.
“So I’m just trying to find my feet again after that, but I still love playing.
“I started back last week and you certainly realised I had it, because my fitness had taken a knock.”
The Pitmedden side are seventh in the table and have had a disappointing couple of weeks, having lost to Buckie Thistle and Inverurie Locos.
Anderson added: “We’ve done OK considering we’ve got a lot of young players, but if we want to be up there challenging we need to improve individually and collectively.
“I think the young lads have gained loads of experience this season and played in a lot of big games.
“It maybe hasn’t always gone to plan, but they’ve definitely gained from the experience.
“You have to learn and be better for the experience when it comes around again.”
Team news from across the Highland League
Elsewhere, Deveronvale are missing Harry Noble, Kevin Adams, Sam Robertson, Rory Davidson, Kyle MacKillop-Hall and Caiden Imbert-Thomas for Clachnacuddin’s visit to Princess Royal Park.
The Lilywhites have Harry Nicolson back in contention, but Jamie Calder is out.
Liam Duncan, Craig Reid, Connor Grant, Tom Andrews, Michael Selfridge and Przemyslaw Nawrocki are absent for Keith’s clash with Lossiemouth at Kynoch Park.
Ryan Stuart and Fraser Forbes are doubts for the Coasters, with work commitments ruling out Ross Elliott.
Turriff United face Forres Mechanics at the Haughs, with Graham Fraser back from suspension for the visitors. Stuart Knight is still missing.
Jamie Michie is suspended for Inverurie Locos, who face Fort William at Harlaw Park.
Wayne Mackintosh and Iain Mackenzie are out of Rothes’ clash with Strathspey Thistle at Mackessack Park, with Sean McCarthy and Paul MacLeod also doubts.
Rothes loanees Shane Harkness and Ewan Neil miss out for the visitors.
Third-placed Brechin City welcome Nairn County to Glebe Park.