In a major boost for Kingussie, midfielder Fraser Munro is to make a comeback, having not played since May, 2016.
The 28-year-old machine operator, a direct-running midfielder, has regained his appetite for the game after being cleared of an assault charge in a two-day trial in November.
Munro was sent off in the MacTavish Cup semi-final against Lochaber at Spean Bridge after opponent Jack Dignan fractured an eye socket and required two operations in a Glasgow hospital.
Fraser, who served a five-game suspension after the incident, had chosen not to play since.
But he has now assured new manager John Gibson that he is ready to return and make up for lost time.
Gibson said: “It’s been a traumatic couple of years for Fraser but he’s assured me he now wants to put the whole thing behind him. He’s back in training and working extremely hard to regain his sharpness and looking surprisingly good considering his long lay-off.
“As one of the more experienced players in a young team, Fraser has been a big miss. It’s terrific to have him back.
“His return refreshes our squad and his quality, once he is up to speed, will be very important to us.”
Munro, who can also play up front, scored a spectacular goal in Kingussie’s 2011 Camanachd Cup final defeat by Newtonmore but he gained a winner’s medal in the 2014 final against Glen Urquhart.
Gibson, however, revealed that he has failed in a bid to persuade forward Thomas Borthwick, 23, who did not play last season, to make a comeback.“He said: “I’ve spoken to Thomas but he wants to sit things out this year, too. He indicated that he might return next year,. It’s a shame that we’ll again be without him.” Meanwhile, Barrie Dallas has signed up as assistant manager to Gibson. He was assistant to Dallas Young last season but both indicated they were taking this year out.
Inverness-based Barrie, who has three Camanachd Cup winners medals, has been persuaded by Gibson to have second thoughts.Gavin Heath, who joined the Black and Whites a year ago, has opted to rejoin his former club Glen Urquhart.
Glen manager Iain Mac-leod said: “We’re delighted to welcome back Gavin and there have been very good attendances at training.”
Not so good news for the Drumnadrochit club is that former under-21 international Neale Reid, a speedy forward, has indicated that he does not wish to be involved in the early part of the season.
Reid has been a first-team regular since he was 16 but midway through last season he quit playing, indicating that he needed a break to regain his appetite for the game.
The Blairbeg Park club narrowly avoided relegation last autumn.
But the club will still be able to count on Scotland skipper John Barr and former international Andy Corrigan, whose oil jobs are in Norway.
“John and Andy have pledged their commitment again for the new season,” said Macleod.
“Their willingness to travel long distances to play is greatly admired.”