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Davie Carson keen to give Highland’s title-winning seconds a chance to impress

Highland head coach Davie Carson.
Highland head coach Davie Carson.

Highland head coach Davie Carson is keen to give some of the club’s title-winning seconds an opportunity to stake their claim ahead of next season.

The Inverness outfit make the trip to National 1 leaders Gala on Saturday, in the first of five remaining fixtures this season.

Highland’s raptors earlier this month secured the Caledonia North 2 title, courtesy of a 24-12 victory over Aberdeen Grammar seconds at Rubislaw.

With their season now finished, Carson is hoping to integrate some fresh faces into his side before the end of the campaign.

Carson said: “With the seconds finishing their campaign as champions, we are looking at maybe giving a couple of the guys that performed well for them a go on the bench.

“We are looking ahead to next season, and we will maybe give some of the young guys a taste of it in the hope they can make the step up.

“They went down to Grammar needing the point to secure the championship. It was a pretty strong Grammar seconds side to say the least, but I was really proud of the way the boys played.

Highland’s Canal Park.

“It was a great finish for Nathan McLaughlin and Blair Lockwood who have coached them all season and it would be great to see a few of these guys move up into the firsts.”

‘Season is not finished yet’ stresses Carson

Although seventh-placed Highland have little to play in the remainder of the season, Carson is determined to finish the season with a flourish.

He added: “It has been so stop-start since Christmas, with pitches, Covid and the Six Nations.

“It has been difficult for everyone, from coaches to players.

“You just need that continuity and momentum, but we have had some good sessions to get everybody focused.

“Hopefully we can now get a run of five games on the trot to get as many points as we can.

“The season is not finished yet – we have still got five games left starting with a real tough one.

“We have Stirling, Cartha and Boroughmuir at home, before we finish away to Biggar.

“There are many points still to collect, to try and push ourselves as high up the table as we can get.”

Highland will be without Hugo Crush due to a dislocated shoulder, which could sideline him for the rest of the campaign.

Hugo Crush in action for Highland.

Carson expects a stern challenge against Saturday’s opponents Gala, adding: “We will not get a harder test. Gala are a really good side who beat us by a point in Inverness.

“There wasn’t much between the sides that day, with a penalty winning it in the last minute.

“We need to go down with the same sort of performance and maybe turn the tables.”

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