Scotland under-21 shinty-hurling manager Allan MacRae is the new head coach of Glasgow Mid Argyll, who will make their Mowi Premiership return in March after winning promotion in the last pre-pandemic season in 2019.
The former Lovat and Beauly manager takes over from Mark Bain, who has stepped down to focus on playing.
MacRae has retired after 27 years as a policeman in the Highlands and now lives in Edinburgh so he will commute to Glasgow when pre-season training begins on Saturday.
He said: “My daughter is finishing school in Edinburgh, so I’m there all week.
“When I was approached by Mid Argyll, I recognised that popping through to Glasgow for training wouldn’t be too difficult, while the bulk of Premiership away games will be in the Highlands, which is fine.
“The players are looking forward to the challenge of testing themselves in the top flight.
“The localised leagues didn’t fully stretch many clubs, so everyone will be working on match fitness.
“Neil McLay, who was Mark’s assistant, has agreed to stay on which gives me continuity. We’ve arranged three pre-season games, starting at home to Inveraray on February 12. Then we go to Oban Celtic on the 19th and visit champions Kingussie on the 26th.”
MacRae, who won successive MacTavish Cups as Lovat boss, added:”I’m delighted to be back involved.”
— Shinty (@camanachd) January 13, 2022
Former Kinlochshiel player John Don Mackenzie is staying at Mid Argyll and has been appointed captain for the new season, which is likely to be his swansong as he plans to move north to live and work in 2023.
Kingussie legend and former international Rory Fraser will be a trailblazer in an innovative role new to the game. He will provide individual player analysis and coaching advice.
Mark Bain said: “I wanted to step aside and it’s great that someone of Allan MacRae’s calibre has come in. He’s got excellent experience and he brings a fresh eye and ideas to our setup.
“My priority is to stay as a player, though most of my games may be in the second team.”
Ewen Fraser, who played in Newtonmore’s 2019 Camanachd Cup winning team, is still a doctor in Glasgow and the goalgrabber is committed to his first full season at Mid Argyll.
With colleges and universities mainly operating through remote learning recently, the Peterson Park club has not benefited from the usual recruitment of Highland players moving south to study, though this could change later this year.