Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner. Facebook Messenger An icon of the facebook messenger app logo. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Facebook Messenger An icon of the Twitter app logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. WhatsApp Messenger An icon of the Whatsapp messenger app logo. Email An icon of an mail envelope. Copy link A decentered black square over a white square.

Josh Meekings – Caley Thistle must be rejuvenated and trust with fans rebuilt

Caley Thistle Scottish Cup-winner Meekings will face his old club in a friendly for new side Clachnacuddin this weekend.

Defender Josh Meekings in action for Inverness in 2015. Image: SNS.
Defender Josh Meekings in action for Inverness in 2015. Image: SNS.

Caley Thistle Scottish Cup-winner Josh Meekings hopes his old club can build bridges with their fans and climb back out of League One.

The defender, who also played in the top-flight with the Highlanders, is in line to face ICT this weekend.

Having been player-assistant manager at Highland League side Brora Rangers, Meekings has moved to Conor Gethins’ Clachnacuddin in a playing capacity this summer.

His former side Inverness dropped out of the Championship via the play-offs last term and will have to fight their way back under boss Duncan Ferguson.

It has been a steady stream of tough news for ICT fans since the season ended, with a proposed training switch to Fife eventually scrapped and concerns of administration, which have abated slightly after a statement mentioning “hugely positive” talks with potential investors.

The club have also been criticised for not thrashing out a deal or constructive talks with now free agent goalkeeper Mark Ridgers, and for failing to pay for winger Aaron Doran’s knee surgery after it was cancelled twice. Doran is also no longer with the club.

Josh Meekings after winning the Scottish Cup in 2015. Image: SNS

Togetherness needed at Inverness

All of this has led to disharmony between fans and their club, and Meekings, who enjoyed six years at ICT from 2011, hopes rifts can be healed.

He said: “Without knowing what’s going on in the background, to see what has been happening at the club has been disappointing.

“When they spoke about training at Kelty Hearts… that would have been taking the club away from the community. They need to get back in touch with their fan base.

“They need to make an effort to build a togetherness – that’s what we thrived on in our time at Inverness!

“We always said teams would never want to come and play us up here in the Highlands and that drove us on. It lit the fire for us to try and make something happen.

“That came through creating a togetherness and having players here who wanted to play for Caley Thistle.

“You just need to look at our squad and the number of people who stayed up in the Highlands (afterwards) and that speaks volumes in itself.

“I hope the club can find a way to rejuvenate itself and rebuild that trust with the fans to try to get the club back to where it once was.

“It would be a real shame if they club was to continue to struggle. You want Caley Thistle and Ross County to be successful, ideally with both in the top league.”

Communication key at Inverness

Meekings feels Caley Thistle’s new plan to stick with mainly local players in the new season is worthwhile as they bid to get out of League One at the first attempt.

Also calling for better communication between ICT and supporters, he added: “You need the right characters as players for the season ahead.

“With the relegation, there needs to be a change in personnel and a change in the way they want things to happen.

“At this moment, everything seems to be a bit negative around the club.

“Communication needs to be better and then take little steps to rebuilding that trust and rapport with the fans again.

“That is massive. You need the community and people around you wanting you to do well and be successful. Without that, you haven’t got a club.

Inverness manager Duncan Ferguson. Image: SNS.

“Everyone will want the club to be successful, but you have to all be driving in the same direction. At the moment, they are not in the same bracket.

“I have a history with the club, and I always want them to do well. The handling of some of the situations of late has been disheartening and disappointing.”

Meekings has ‘good feeling’ at Clach

Meekings was most recently assistant boss to Ally MacDonald at Brora, who stepped down at the end of last term, with ex-Nairn County manager Steven Mackay taking over alongside new Dudgeon Park assistant David Hind.

The centre-half explained focusing firstly on playing and enjoying football under Gethins led him to pick Clach as his next career move.

Josh Meekings in Brora Rangers colours. Image: Jason Hedges/DC Thomson.

He added: “Ally resigned and changes were going to be made. I discussed it with the club, and we felt it was best to mutually part ways.

“After that, I had a few offers from clubs and the one that stood out for me was Conor Gethins and Clach.

“There has been so much change at the club this summer and I know Grant Munro (Clach’s new director of football). I know the history of the club and the direction it wants to go.

“Conor has recruited really well with some good young talent mixed with good experienced players such as Joe Malin (from Brora) and Gavin Morrison (from Spartans).

Clachnacuddin boss Conor Gethins. Image: Sandy McCook/DC Thomson.

“It’s good for me to get back to playing and not think about too much else. That will be a fresh challenge for me.

“I had a knee operation last year and got back into games at the end of last season. I am enjoying pre-season with the boys right now, and it’s going well, so touch wood I can stay injury-free and look to have a good season and enjoy it.

“This gives me a chance to come away from coaching a little bit.

“I had a good experience of that with Brora, for which I am grateful. They helped get me through by B Licence, which was great of them to do.

“I can now just focus on playing for Clach, and my wife and kids can come and see me, which was more difficult when I was at Brora.

“I have got a good feeling about it.”

**** Caley Thistle have added an away friendly against Nairn County to their pre-season schedule next Tuesday.

That follows this Saturday’s game at Clach, with Championship runners-up Raith Rovers hosting them on Saturday, July 6, with Brora v ICT on July 9.