Drew MacDonald will make his return from a long-term injury to captain Newtonmore for the 2024 shinty season.
With co-managers Norman MacArthur and Evan Cheyne confirmed for a third year in charge following the club’s recent annual general meeting, they have selected MacDonald to lead the side on the field.
Norman MacArthur said: “Drew would have been captain last season but when it became clear he wasn’t going to recover from his knee injury as soon as we’d hoped, we brought Conor Jones’s term as captain forward a year.
“Newtonmore have always changed their captain each year and Drew is the most senior player yet to skipper the side. It is a boost to have him back from injury and he deserves this.”
Drew MacDonald ‘delighted to finally be captain’
Drew MacDonald suffered a serious knee injury against Kyles Athletic in March 2022 but is now fit and raring to go.
He said: “I’m delighted to finally be captain for the upcoming season and it’s a massive honour to skipper a team like Newtonmore.
“I’ve had a long couple of years between knee operations and rehab so I’m over the moon to be back and to be able to captain the team.
“As a club, we are in a really good place. We are all delighted that ‘Brick’ and Evan are continuing as managers and we haven’t lost any senior players from last year and will also gain a few of the second team boys who really shone last season so their integration into the squad will be fantastic.
“On a personal level, I just want to be able to help the boys again and I’m really looking forward to pre-season and hopefully I can stay injury free.”
Gareth Evans is staying on as Oban Camanachd manager following the club’s annual general meeting.
Having led the side to both Artemis Macaulay Cup and Scottish Sea Farms Glasgow Celtic Society Cup success last season, Evans is already planning for the year ahead.
He said: “We drew too many games at Mossfield last season and want to get off to a good start next year.
“That’s what we’ll be targeting during pre-season, and we already have friendly matches set up against Fort William, Kilmallie and Kyles Athletic with one other still to come.
“Competition for places will be fierce next season as we have a good-sized squad to choose from.
“Iain MacMillan remains as my assistant which is massive as he’s been with me since day one at Lochside Rovers. He’s technically good, he knows the game and the boys really respect him.
“We really hope Fraser Inglis will stay on to lead the training too as he was a huge part of what we achieved last year.”
No sooner has the 2023 shinty season ended, than thoughts have already turned to next year with the 2024 Artemis Macaulay Cup draw taking place on Saturday.
The 16-team tournament keeps the north and south teams apart until the final and the draw will be made up to the semi-final stage.
There are two changes from last year’s north grouping with newly promoted Lochaber and Glenurquhart replacing Beauly and Fort William.
There are also places for Caberfeidh, Kingussie, Kinlochshiel, Lovat, Newtonmore and Skye Camanachd. Glenurquhart join at Beauly’s expense as the relegated Braeview Park side are eligible for the Ferguson Transport & Shipping Balliemore Cup whilst the Glen are not.
The south half of the draw is unchanged from last year with Aberdour, Bute, Col Glen, Glasgow Mid Argyll, Inveraray, Kyles Athletic, Oban Camanachd and Oban Celtic all included.
Oban Camanachd are holders, as goals from Matthew Sloss and Lewis Cameron saw them come from behind to beat Kingussie 2-1 in last year’s final, lifting the trophy for the first time since 1995.
The draw will be made live on Oban FM’s Sports Show which starts at 6pm.