Forres Mechanics forward Lee Fraser reckons an enjoyable changing room can lead to better days for the Highland League club.
The 29-year-old and his team-mate twin, defender Graham, enjoyed a testimonial match against League 2 Elgin City on Friday.
It was a celebration of 12 years of service to the Moray side, with more than 750 appearances between the likable brothers.
The boss who signed them – Charlie Rowley – stood down last November, with his replacement Gordon Connelly resigning after a short spell due to a change in personal circumstances.
From the New Year, the players have been led by current manager Steven MacDonald and the turbulent term ended with a 12th-placed league finish.
Cans legends Graham and Lee Fraser presented club chairman Dave MacDonald with an engraved gift to commemorate their testimonial match with Elgin City FC last night.
Great gesture by the boys and this will be placed proudly on display in the boardroom at Mosset Park 🟤🟡 pic.twitter.com/J5SB9RWeEr
— ForresMechanics F.C. (@TheCansOfficial) July 2, 2022
MacDonald is using pre-season effectively with his players, and striker Fraser explained how, after signing a new two-year deal with his brother in April, they are enjoying still turning out for the Can-Cans.
He said: “We were a wee bit in limbo come the end of the season, but we still had the testimonial to look forward to and we signed for another two years at Forres. We will see how that goes.
“There is a good bunch of boys here. There are a lot of new boys compared to what we’ve been used to over the years, but we will soon start gelling the more we play.
“It’s always a good laugh, which is needed in a football club. I’m still enjoying it and I just hope it’s a better season than last season. That wasn’t great and we want to push on.
“The manager is trying to get us to play a certain way and has been going over the tactics with us, so hopefully we will soon get going.”
Nerves set in hours ahead of match
The Frasers, who have a league title and a North of Scotland Cup medal apiece from their time at Forres, were thrilled to see fans turn out in decent numbers for them on Friday.
A rapid start from Elgin saw them race into a 2-0 lead before Brian Cameron blazed a 15th-minute spot-kick over the top.
After that, Forres matched their opponents well without having bite in attack and Josh Peters added a third goal for Elgin in the second half.
Fraser admits the lead-up to the game threw up unexpected nerves.
He said: “It was enjoyable – but a hard night’s graft.
“It was great to see such a big crowd. For the other (testimonial) events, there was a big build-up.
“But the entire week of the game was all about the match on Friday. When I got home from work on Friday, I was getting ready and I was feeling a wee bit nervous, even just getting to the game and walking on to the pitch.
“It was all went past so quick, but it was really enjoyable.
“Elgin were really good. I was fearing the worst when the first two goals went in, but we calmed the storm after that.
“That was only our second pre-season game, but we stuck in and 3-0 wasn’t a bad result overall.”
Going for goal almost paid off
And Fraser was not far off the mark when he went for goal from long-range as half-time approached, but it was not to be.
He added: “I saw the keeper off the line and I thought it was worth a try, but it didn’t go in.
“There was one in the second half where I was going to take a touch and shoot, but I couldn’t get the ball from my feet and I got tackled, but it was just great to have the testimonial and have a big crowd here to watch it.”