Brora Rangers FC chairman says only way is up for high-flying Cattachs
Written by William Powrie, chairman of Brora Rangers FC
As we greet 2020, I cannot be happier how our season has gone so far, and to be leading the Breedon Highland League at the turn of the year see’s us exactly where we intended to be, which puts us in poll position for the run in, which consists of 13 league games.
We have already lifted the North of Scotland FA Cup, having beaten Inverness Caledonian Thistle 3-2, and are through to the semi final of the Highland League Cup. We of course enjoyed some great publicity when we managed to hold championship side Morton to a draw away in Greenock in the third round of the William Hill Scottish Cup.
Our manager Steven MacKay has assembled not only a very capable squad but has engendered a sense of togetherness, which is seeing us play some of the best football to grace Dudgeon Park for many a long year and has seen the team win 17 out of 19 league games played so far this season. We have the meanest defence in the league having conceded just eight goals, and a prolific scoring record having bagged 73 goals, by some way the best in the league.
We have added carefully to our player pool always ensuring that the skills each player brings will add to the overall balance of the squad, with a combination of determination, robustness, challenge, strength and flair which allows planning not just for this season but also beyond. We do not have a large squad by any means but Steven prefers to keep everyone engaged and, going forward, each man will have his part to play. In addition to our player acquisitions we have also been able to secure the services of the Ross County duo Tom Kelly and James Wallace until the end of the current season, which will further strengthen Steven’s hand, as the pair have contributed greatly to the success of the season so far.
Of course at this juncture, we are fully focused on the Highland League title, but lifting our home title will give us entry into the pyramid play-off against the Lowland League champions, with the victors progressing into a tie with the bottom club (team 42) in the SPFL, with the prize of entry into SPFL League 2 awaiting the winners.
Make no mistake, this progression has to be our aim, and whilst promotion would bring its logistical challenges, the board, team management and players are at one with our vision and objectives. The economics of Scottish football is now such that promotion to the fourth tier and into the SPFL is a compelling proposition.
We certainly do not want to get ahead of ourselves and everyone at the club remains very grounded, but Cove Rangers have shown just what can be achieved at the higher level and can act as exemplars for ambitious clubs, of which we class ourselves as one.
Off the field, it is especially pleasing that our attendances have shown an increase this season, the catalyst being the style and quality of football which we are playing. We are an entertainment business and this season Dudgeon Park is the place for entertainment of the highest order, with quality goals aplenty.
We have enjoyed an excellent relationship with our main shirt sponsor, Edward Mackay Contractors, and as we approach the end of our first two year agreement, negotiations are progressing very positively to renew the arrangement.
We have revamped our match-day hospitality offering and numbers enjoying our fare have almost doubled, with a core base of attendees coming from outwith the immediate local area. Our match day sponsors are such an important and valuable group for the club, and we will continue to work on innovative ideas to attract further patronage. We have only just this week teamed up with the Royal Marine Hotel and Brora Golf Club to produce some unbeatable packages to tempt more sponsors to our games as we embark upon the business end of the season.
Whilst clearly we are in pole position, Fraserburgh, Rothes, Buckie Thistle and Formartine United will all be pushing us hard and every point will remain a prisoner. We have some very tough games coming up, starting away to Rothes this weekend. This is a proverbial six pointer and our boys will need to be at their very best if we are to bring the three points back up the A9.
We have a tremendous travelling support and at these difficult games they can literally be our 12th man. The players value and appreciate their commitment to the cause and as the run-in gathers pace we hope every Cattach fan will be able to make it to as many games as possible and get right behind the boys.
Full updated coverage of Brora Rangers FC is available at www.brorarangers.football