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Jim McInally pleased Peterhead have landed Hamish Ritchie on loan

Jim McInally is pleased to have signed Hamish Ritchie
Jim McInally is pleased to have signed Hamish Ritchie

Jim McInally is hoping Hamish Ritchie can shine with Peterhead after signing him on loan.

The Inverurie Locos midfielder has joined the Blue Toon for the remainder of this season, however, if the Highland League resumes the Railwaymen do have a recall option.

Peterhead boss McInally is gearing up for their return to competitive action when Airdrieonians visit Balmoor this weekend and the signing of Ritchie adds further depth to his squad.

The 23-year-old returned to Scotland last summer after four years in America at university.

After initially signing for Inverurie Ritchie was loaned to Cove Rangers in October, but made only one appearance, before returning to Harlaw Park a month later.

He has been out of action since the Highland League was suspended in January and McInally said: “I think Hamish will be wanting to prove himself because he hasn’t been able to play much recently for obvious reasons.

“I spoke to Jordon Brown as well and he said when he went to Cove he was really impressed with him and said he trained brilliantly so that backed up what I already thought.

“It’s always good when you hear something like that coming from another player.

“He’s a midfield player that wants to drive on and get forward and going back to when we played Inverurie that was one thing that stuck out about him is that he wants to go by people.

Hamish Ritchie, left, in action for Keith prior to his move to university in America

“Hamish is a skilful player and a good size physically as well and hopefully we give him an opportunity to show what he’s all about.”

McInally has had his eye on Ritchie for some time, having been impressed with him when Peterhead played Inverurie in a pre-season friendly in September.

He’s pleased to have been able to sign him and thanked Locos and manager Andy Low for helping make the deal happen.

McInally added: “From the first time I saw him, when we played Inverurie in pre-season, I really liked Hamish.

“I know he went to Cove and didn’t really feature, but knowing the games are a week away and we’re struggling for bodies a wee bit I was racking my brains to think on what might be available.

Inverurie Locos manager Andy Low

“I gave Andy Low a call to see what his thoughts were and he said he wasn’t going to stop somebody trying to play at a higher level, especially when Inverurie aren’t playing at the moment.

“Speaking to Andy it’s quite clear how highly he rates Hamish and the day we played them I just thought he was really good, so I think this suits both parties.

“When Hamish went to Cove I was pretty gutted because I didn’t think Inverurie would have let him go out on loan, otherwise I would have been trying to get him then.

“Looking at the situation we’re in I thought I’d give Andy a phone and thankfully Inverurie were very helpful.”

McInally still hopes to bolster his squad further and has been trying to bring Lyall Cameron and Josh Mulligan back on loan from Dundee.

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