Elgin tie will help Brora judge team
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Brora Rangers manager Steven Mackay is looking forward to getting the chance to evaluate his squad in a pre-season friendly on Saturday.
After training for the last couple of weeks, the Cattachs will travel to Borough Briggs to face Elgin City tomorrow for their first match since the Highland League was brought to an early conclusion in March.
They will start the new-look Highland League season as title favourites once again after claiming the trophy last season, but Mackay is taking nothing for granted from his players.
He has been impressed with how they returned for pre-season, but playing matches is a different prospect altogether.
Options to refresh his personnel are there, as Brora are assessing a couple of unnamed trialists they currently have on board.
Elgin will prove their next challenge, and Mackay believes it is an opportunity for every one of his players – trialist or not – to impress ahead of the new season.
“It serves as both a fitness exercise and a chance to play a competitive game,” he insisted.
“Any footballer, irrespective of what level they’re at, will always tell you that match fitness is completely different to training.
“You’re stopping and starting, you’re sprinting, you’re jogging, it’s very different, so it will be great and very welcome to get that.
“We’ll have a couple of boys on trial at the moment who will potentially feature on Saturday.
“It’s an opportunity for us as a management team to look at them and for them to get a feel for the players that they will potentially be playing with.
“It will just be a good chance for us to assess our squad in general. We’ve got a small squad, we’re very familiar with our players and their capabilities, but it will be good to get out and see everyone back out on the pitch and assess how they’re getting on.”
The 2020/21 season is currently due to begin next month, subject to final government approval, but that still feels a long way off for Mackay with so much uncertainty still in the air.
“The season is only a proposal at this time,” Mackay reasoned.
“There is talk of October 17 as the start date, but no fixtures have been released yet, so we don’t really know if that is indeed going to happen.
“There have been a couple of setbacks for the country and the restrictions that are now in place.
“So we don’t know if, when and how that will impact football.
“It’s hard to look too far ahead, we’re focusing on Saturday – we’ve got a game and we’re looking forward to that. Then we will just focus on training, and continually trying to develop players physically and work on their fitness.
“Fingers crossed over the next couple of weeks we get some confirmation on the league and how that’s going to shape up, only then can we turn our attention to it and start focusing on it a bit more.”