Highland League champions Brora Rangers have signed Clach forward Paul Brindle on a pre-contract agreement.
Brindle will join Brora next season unless the two clubs can agree a fee for an immediate transfer.
Brindle’s departure, and the loss of captain Gordon Morrison through suspension, will be a blow to Clach manager Iain Polworth as the Lilywhites today begin their defence of the League Cup at home to Deveronvale.
Vale manager Ally MacLeod knows his players face a tough tie at Grant Street.
He said: “Clach are a good team and they are the holders of the cup. We drew 3-3 with them at Princess Royal Park on December 13, so we know it is a tough draw for ourselves but we will be giving it our best shot.
“It is just great to get a game after the disappointment of having our home match against Formartine United postponed last weekend, so we need to get ourselves back into the habit of playing football again as we haven’t played a competitive game since January 3. It has been frustrating for everyone.”
Vale welcome back forward Sean Keith from injury but defender Connor Rennie is out.
Forres Mechanics will be without suspended forward Scott Moore for the visit of Rothes to Mosset Park, where the cup second-round draw will take place after the game. The Speysiders’ only absentee is midfielder Lewis MacKay, who has a torn calf muscle.
Lossiemouth and Strathspey Thistle meet at Grant Park.
The Coasters have doubts over youngster Cameron Farquhar and experienced full back Tony Ross. Scott Wilson, Sam Milton and Kevin Duguid are unavailable and Elgin City’s on-loan teenager Aaron Hamilton is ineligible. Shawn Scott, Chris Ross and Scott Miller are added to the squad.
The Grantown Jags are at full strength for their trip.