Academy drew their season to a close with a comfortable victory over Strathspey on Saturday.
It was an inevitably low-key affair with nothing left for either side to play for and so most of the attention was given to Academy legend Craig Shearer as he led the team out on his 500th, and possibly final, appearance.
Indeed most fans who attended the game were probably more interested in the events further down the A9 at the Dungeon as Brora beat Edinburgh City on penalties to move one step closer to promotion.
There are split opinions on this, but personally I’d be delighted to see the back of them. The Highland League would return to being a competitive division where any number of teams would have the potential to challenge for the title, while Brora potentially face their karmic financial ruin in the lower leagues of the SPFL.
Any loss of income from the lucrative North derbies could hopefully be offset by a successful Scottish Cup run. Getting to the third round (or even the second after our disastrous attempt this year) would provide a massive boost to the club.
The title race could become one of the tightest and most unpredictable in years as, without Brora, seven or eight teams would realistically consider themselves as contenders.
And with rumours linking Elgin striker Craig Gunn with a return home to Wick, a front line of him, Davie Allan and Steven Anderson, backed up by Richard Macadie, Sam Mackay, Gary Weir and Lukasz Geruzel, would arguably be the strongest in the league. Keep a hold of Grant Campbell and we would surely be right up there as one of the favourites.
Of course, if Brora were to fail against Montrose then we would likely be in for a rerun of this season’s procession.
Brora got off to the perfect start with a 1-0 win in the first leg against Montrose today and, although I never thought I’d say this, come Saturday I will be rooting for a Brora victory. Let’s hope their players don’t have any more unmissable stag do’s or parents’ wedding anniversaries so that they can make a proper push for promotion.