Nairn County player-manager Steven Mackay is aiming to finish in the Breedon Highland League’s top five after bolstering his squad.
The Wee County – who face Inverurie Locos at Harlaw Park tomorrow – have signed striker Ben Barron on-loan from Elgin City for the rest of the season and midfielder Kenny MacInnes on a two-and-a-half year contract from the Black and Whites.
MacInnes, 20, joined Elgin in the summer of 2022 and made 13 appearances during a loan stint at Nairn last term.
The Station Park side are sixth in the Highland League with 34 points. Having signed Harry Hennem and Horace Ormsby earlier this month, boss Mackay is looking up.
He said: “Ben’s a player I’ve liked and been wanting to sign for some time, he has a lot of the good attributes.
“Hopefully we can help Ben develop and it’s a good opportunity for him to come in and get some game time and score some goals.
“Kenny did well with us on-loan. He’s recognised he needs to play and enjoy his football.
✍️We are delighted to have completed the signing of midfielder Kenny MacInnes from Elgin City 🤩 More here 👇https://t.co/wrBV5Y4g39
— Nairn County FC (@NairnCounty) January 26, 2024
“Kenny will add good quality and good competition to our squad.
“Our aim this season is to be in the top five, but we know how tough it is.
“There’s Brechin, Buckie, Brora, Banks o’ Dee, Formartine and Fraserburgh. So to get in there we need to be better than two of us those sides, which is a massive ask for us.
“But we set aggressive targets and standards, I’d rather aim high and fail than aim low and achieve.”
Inverurie will be without defenders Mark Souter and Greg Mitchell, but goalkeeper Zack Ellis is back.
Double loan for Lossie
Lossiemouth have also been busy in the transfer market, signing attackers Dylan Lawrence and Aidan Cruickshank on-loan from Elgin City for the rest of the season.
Lawrence, 20, had a loan stint at Forres earlier in the campaign, while 18-year-old Cruickshank joined the Can-Cans last month on a short-term loan.
Lossie welcome Rothes to Grant Park tomorrow. Boss Frank McGettrick said: “Dylan and Aidan are both very good players technically and I hope they can help us and add to what we’ve got in the final third.
“We’ve been looking to increase our firepower in the forward areas.
“We don’t feel we’ve scored enough goals so hopefully Dylan and Aidan’s quality can help us improve that between now and the end of the season.
“We’re thankful to Allan Hale and Elgin City for assisting us in making the deal happen.”
The Speysiders have Ben Williamson back from suspension. Greg Morrison faces a late fitness test and Alan Pollock and Allen Mackenzie are still sidelined, while Aidan Wilson has been transfer-listed.
McLeod heads for Grantown
Elsewhere, Strathspey Thistle have signed striker John McLeod on-loan from Buckie Thistle for the remainder of the campaign.
The 35-year-old rejoined Buckie in September after time out of the game following three hip surgeries.
Strathspey manager Robert MacCormack said: “I’m delighted to be able to bring a player of John’s quality to the club.
“He’s a proven goal scorer at the very top end of the Highland League. He’s now fully fit after a long period out and I’m confident he will be a fantastic addition to the group.”
The Grantown Jags host leaders Brechin City at Seafield Park tomorrow (2pm kick-off), with the game subject to an 8am pitch inspection. Michael McKenzie, Iain Ross and Steve Martin are missing for the hosts.
Elsewhere, Buckie’s Victoria Park encounter against Banks o’ Dee (2pm-kick off) will be subject to a 9.30am inspection.
If the fixture – which is fifth v second – goes ahead admission will be free for all supporters.
After taking almost 2,500 fans to Celtic Park last weekend Buckie boss Graeme Stewart is hoping they can attract more supporters on a regular basis.
He said: “Daniel Farquhar, our commercial director, came up with the idea and everyone agreed it was a great idea.
“It’s a thank you to the fans and community for the support they gave us.
“We’ve got good supporters, but we’re always wanting more people coming through the gates.
“We need to try to capitalise and grow the club on and off the park. The club has got great potential and we need to try to push forward and not stand still.”
Dee, meanwhile, are unbeaten in 12 games – a run stretching back until October 28.