Highland co-captain Scott Fraser is happy to have reached the 150 first-team appearances milestone for the club, but his full focus is on match number 151 on Saturday – a top-of-the-table National One clash with leaders Ayr.
Fraser, the 28-year-old stand-off who leads the Canal Park men alongside Callum Carson, had his milestone outing six days ago down at Gala when Highland came from behind to win 22-18.
It means they have won six and lost one so far in the league in 2023/24, and sit second on 27 points behind Ayr, who have won seven from seven to date and have 33 points.
They two sides are set to meet at Ayr’s Millbrae ground in what could be one of the games of the season so far.
“It is a huge honour for me to have played 150 games for the Highland first team,” Fraser said, while paying tribute to Kevin Brown, who has helped revamp the way the club keeps individual player records in recent months.
“I have been around the club for a long time, having played in the youth section from the age of five and then having made the step up to the seniors in 2013.
“Around that time the club was down in the regional leagues and rebuilding, and since then, head coach Dave Carson and others have managed to build something pretty special and it has been a pleasure to have been a part of it all.”
Looking back on last time out and ahead to Ayr, Fraser added: “I was really proud of the fightback at Gala last week. We were really off the boil for around an hour, but then something clicked and we showed great fighting qualities to come back from 18-3 down.
“It was a phenomenal day and one we will not forget in a hurry. One of the most pleasing things was that fringe players and younger guys stepped up and played key roles with some of our regulars missing.
“We are pretty happy with the season so far. We have had one slip up at GHA who were a streetwise outfit, but if you’d said to us at the start of the campaign that we’d have six wins from seven at this stage, we’d have been content.
“With 15 of the 18 league games coming before Christmas, we knew we had to build up some momentum early on.
“Ayr this weekend will be a massive challenge, it always is against them and we have had some good battles with them in recent times.
“They look to be going great guns this season and have recruited well, so they may play a bit differently than when we have come up against them in the past, but we have to focus on what we can do and how we can cause them problems.
“We know that it will be a physical game and Ayr have threats out wide – it is a challenge we are really looking forward to.”
Aberdeen duo look to keep momentum up in National Two
In National Two, third-placed Gordonians are due to host fifth-placed Newton Stewart.
“Newton Stewart have a dynamic pack that pose a real threat at the breakdown, so we need to make sure we don’t get isolated when we attack,” Gordonians head coach Ryan Morrice said.
“The conditions may make the game more attritional, so we need to be ready and prepared for that.
“The guys are on a high after the win at Lasswade a fortnight ago and we want to keep that momentum going.”
Gordonians welcome captain Chris McIlroy back to the squad after a long layoff.
In the same division, Aberdeen Grammar are also looking to keep momentum up after their win over Berwick.
This week, ninth-placed Grammar are on the road to second-in-the-table Peebles.
Orkney are once again inactive in National Three and will have to wait until next weekend to try and build on their six wins from six.
Aberdeenshire are top of the Caledonia One North Conference and they are on the road to sixth-placed RAF Lossiemouth.
There is a big game for bottom side Garioch in the women’s Premiership as they welcome second-bottom Stewartry to Kellands Park.