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Aberdeenshire Shield final: Banks o’ Dee boss Jamie Watt aiming for more history

Banks o' Dee are aiming to add the Aberdeenshire Shield to the Aberdeenshire Cup they won earlier in the season
Banks o' Dee are aiming to add the Aberdeenshire Shield to the Aberdeenshire Cup they won earlier in the season

Banks o’ Dee co-manager Jamie Watt is aiming to make more history by winning the Morrison Motors (Turriff) Aberdeenshire Shield.

The Aberdeen outfit take on Huntly in the competition’s showpiece at Harlaw Park, Inverurie.

In October, Dee won the Evening Express Aberdeenshire Cup for the first time in their history, it was also the first time a Junior club had won the tournament.

No Junior side has won the Shield and Watt, who is joint-boss alongside Roy McBain, is looking to change that.

He said: “We made waves by winning the Aberdeenshire Cup when no Junior club had won it.

“To win one of the competitions in a season is an outstanding achievement, but to win two would be a fantastic effort from everyone.

“The effort the players have put in to get to this stage has been incredible.

“We’ve had to play a lot of great Highland League teams and to get through speaks volumes for the boys and their character.

“They’ve set themselves up for a bit of history and to win the two Aberdeenshire trophies in the one season would be incredible.”

Double chance for Dee

If Banks o’ Dee were to win this evening, it would give them an impressive Aberdeenshire trophy double.

Since the Aberdeenshire Shield began in 1990, only five times has a club won it and the Aberdeenshire Cup in the same season.

Fraserburgh achieved the feat in 1996-97, 2015-16 and 2019-20, Peterhead did in 1998-99 and Buckie Thistle managed it in 2007-08.

Watt added: “I played in the Highland League for about 20 years and never managed to win them both in the same season and I never got close to that.

Banks o’ Dee co-managers Roy McBain, left, and Jamie Watt

“I’ve told the players that, sometimes I don’t think they realise what they’re achieving, because when you’re playing and winning you just get used to it.

“I want them to be aware of what they’re trying to achieve and how they can go down as a team that will be remembered.

“It’s not lost on me what we’re trying to do and it’s been a fantastic effort from everyone, but there’s still a lot of work to be done.”

Losses have made Dee stronger

Prior to their breakthrough in the Aberdeenshire Cup this season, Banks o’ Dee had lost in three Shield finals and a Shire Cup final in recent years.

Watt believes those defeats have helped them and said: “The experience we’ve gained has helped us – especially the finals we’ve lost in previous years.

“It always gives you the extra urge to put it right. We lost one Aberdeenshire Cup final and we lost three Aberdeenshire Shield finals.

“In every one of those we didn’t compete as well as we should have and that meant we wanted to get back there and get the job done.

“Winning the Aberdeenshire Cup this season gave us a huge lift and on that occasion we felt like it was our time.

“Now we’ve got a more positive mindset and we know we can get the job done.”

Michael Philipson, Max Alexander, Jamie Buglass, Ali Stark, Matthew Wallace, Matt Robertson are all unavailable.

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