Joe McCabe admits Buckie Thistle won’t be short of motivation when Brechin City visit Victoria Park this afternoon.
It’s the first meeting of the clubs since the final day of last term when the Hedgemen defeated the Jags 2-0 to claim the Breedon Highland League title in a winner-takes-all showdown.
Buckie are top of the table with 22 points, ahead of third-placed Brechin on goal difference and defender McCabe would like to stay there.
The 26-year-old said: “I think anyone that’s been in a position like that (the last day of last season) would say it’s obvious motivation.
“It was a unique experience and in terms of being involved in a game like that it was good.
“Obviously we didn’t get the result we wanted, but even looking back I don’t think we did much wrong.
“Brechin were deserved winners of the league last season.
“We’ve been there or thereabouts looking to get over the line and I think it’s a great opportunity to get three points and try to kick on because we want to win silverware this season.
“All these head to heads between the teams at the top end of the league are really worth six points.
“There’s still a long way to go this season, but getting points on the board from games like these early in the season does make a difference.”
Hedgemen look to meet standards
Meanwhile, Brechin boss Andy Kirk is keen for his charges to show why they are the champions by reaching the high standards they’ve set in the past.
He added: “The players have set standards and it’s up to them to meet them and try to show why they are where they are and push those boundaries.
“We always want to see if we can get more from certain individuals and the team as a collective.
“It’s a massive game and it’s about the players, when they step across the line they’ve got to carry out the instructions and do the best they can.
“You can’t really afford to drop too many points in this league as we’ve seen over the last few seasons.”
Brechin talisman Grady McGrath came off the bench to net a brace in their midweek victory against Inverurie Locos.
The goals were the striker’s 50th and 51st for the Hedgemen since joining in the summer of 2022.
Kirk said: “Grady just keeps scoring, you sort of run out of things to say. His numbers are crazy and they’re a huge credit to him.”