Keith have been handed a boost ahead of their Morrison Motors (Turriff) Aberdeenshire Shield tie against Inverurie Locos with Rhys Thomas returning on loan.
The right-back spent last season with the Maroons and has rejoined the Kynoch Park club from Cove Rangers.
However, manager Craig Ewen says this evening’s first round encounter may come too soon for the 20-year-old.
Ewen said: “It’s great to have Rhys coming back, although this game might come a wee bit too quickly for him because he hasn’t played much football in the last three months.
“But it’s a boost for us going forward to have Rhys back – from January until the end of last season he had a very strong finish to the campaign.
“Rhys is a good player for us to have coming in and, if he shows similar form to last season then, there’s no question he’ll do well for us.”
Keith’s last action was a Scottish Cup defeat to Cumnock 10 days ago and Ewen says they will start as underdogs against Inverurie.
But he remains upbeat about their chances, and added: “You’re always looking to get through in cups.
“It’s all on the night and – if we perform at our best – we’ll have a chance of getting through.
“Inverurie are probably hurting a little bit after not winning on Saturday, so I would expect a reaction.
“But we need to react as well after a poorer performance against Cumnock in the Scottish Cup.
“Locos will start favourites, but hopefully we can cause an upset.”
Railwaymen look to get back on track
Inverurie boss Richard Hastings is looking for his side to bounce back at Kynoch Park.
The Railwaymen salvaged a draw against Strathspey Thistle on Saturday courtesy of a late Robert Ward equaliser and prior to that exited the Scottish Cup at the hands of Hill of Beath Hawthorn.
Hastings doesn’t think Locos are far away from rediscovering their best form.
He said: “We’ve got options to make changes here and there and we’ll look at that.
“It’s a tough one, because we’re not far away from where we want to be.
“But a few things here and there happen and before you know it, you’ve lost a goal.
“I don’t think major surgery is needed to be honest. We’ve got belief in the players and we know they can do it.
“If we have the right approach to things, I think we’ll get back on track.
“It’s a massive opportunity for us, we have to learn from the past and look to forge onwards.
“Being involved in any competition you want to challenge for silverware. You want to be up for it and show that fighting spirit and intent, because it can get your season going again.”