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PREVIEW: Cove Rangers v Brora Rangers

Stuart Duff
Stuart Duff

Cove Rangers midfielder Stuart Duff insists there will be no old-pals’ act when Brora Rangers come calling today.

The 32-year-old Duff will line up against his former Caley Thistle team-mates Grant Munro and Gavin Morrison when the Highland champions visit Allan Park, but Duff will be looking to help the hosts inflict what would be a first league defeat of the season on Brora.

The former Aberdeen and Dundee United player said: “I played with Grant Munro and Gavin Morrison at Caley Thistle – as well as Ross Tokely whom I believe is currently working abroad – so it will be good to see them again.

“Brora have assembled a really strong squad and they’ve been the dominant force in the Highland League for some time now but they have paid quite a bit of money for players to come in from a higher level. However, we will go into the game full of confidence after a good 3-1 win at Fraserburgh last weekend.

“I think it may be a little bit too much for us to mount a challenge for the title this season but I don’t see why we can’t have a strong finish to the season.”

The former Scotland under-21 international believes the Highland League has been enhanced by the number of former full-time professionals playing in the division.

He said: “It is great for the Highland League that so many former full-timers have chosen to continue their football career in what is a very competitive league.

“As well as myself at Cove we have Chris Clark, who was with Aberdeen for many years, as well as Roy McBain, who was at Ross County for four seasons before he spent the next 11 years with Caley Thistle, making more than 400 appearances in total for both clubs.

“Brora also have former Ross County players Joe Malin, Adam Porritt and Stuart Kettlewell, as well as Andrew Greig and Zander Sutherland, who were both at Caley Thistle, and Craig McKeown, who was at Dundee.”

Cove’s only absentee is top scorer Daryl Nicol, who is on holiday.

Brora Rangers manager Davie Kirkwood cannot wait for his side to get back into competitive action after both festive derbies against Wick Academy were called off due to the wintry weather.

He said: “Cove gave us a hard game up at our place earlier in the season and I don’t think this game will be any different.

“They seem to have a really competitive squad. They will be dangerous.”

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