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Peterhead ready for back-to-back Highland League tests as Jim McInally’s side face Fraserburgh and Formartine

Peterhead manager Jim McInally
Peterhead manager Jim McInally

Peterhead manager Jim McInally believes facing Highland League sides two days running will provide a good pre-season test for his players.

The Blue Toon face local rivals Fraserburgh at Balmoor this afternoon before taking on Formartine United tomorrow at North Lodge Park.

Both fixtures will be played behind closed doors due to coronavirus restrictions.

Peterhead lost 1-0 to Dundee on Tuesday in their first pre-season friendly and McInally believes this double header will be good for his charges.

He said: “These games are all about fitness and why I always enjoy playing Fraserburgh is because of the intensity and competitiveness of the game.

“They’re a good side with good players and it will be competitive. Formartine are a really good side as well and I’ve got a lot of respect for the Highland League and it’s always good to play Highland League sides because of the test you get.

“In terms of the quality in the Highland League there are a lot of players who are good enough to play at a higher level and players I’d put in my team if I got the chance, you always get good, competitive games against Highland League sides.

“But we know there will also be onus on us to go forward and try to create opportunities. It’s just a pity there will be nobody able to come into the ground, because the Fraserburgh game particular is still important to fans and usually draws a decent crowd.”

McInally will use the fixtures to assess a number of trialists including former Ross County winger Gregor MacDonald.

Fraserburgh manager Mark Cowie.

Fraserburgh manager Mark Cowie is thrilled to be back in action, the Broch last played on March 11 beating Huntly 7-0.

Cowie, who has added defender Scott Henry and midfielder Lewis Duncan to his squad this summer, wants his players to enjoy this afternoon’s outing.

He said: “You don’t realise what you’ve got until it’s gone so it’s good to have a game again.

“It’s been a long time coming this, the moment we were allowed back to training was great and I think getting back on the pitch and playing a game, while following the restrictions will be brilliant.

“I just want the players to enjoy it because it’s been mid-March since they played together. We’ve trained together but that’s not the same as a game and facing an opponent.

“So it’s about getting fitness and sharpness into them. For players like Ryan Christie, Gary Harris and Scott Henry (all knee injuries) who are coming back from long-term injuries it’s about easing them back in.

“Everybody in the squad will need game time in the friendlies we play and it’s important everyone gets the right amount.”

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