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Manager says Brora Rangers can be pitch perfect on new turf

By Alasdair Fraser

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ALLY MacDonald is confident a transformed Dudgeon Park can bring the very best out of Brora Rangers this season.

Brora Rangers vs Turriff United. Picture: David Porter
Brora Rangers vs Turriff United. Picture: David Porter

The Cattachs’ player-manager is delighted that the notoriously bobbly pitch he played hundreds of matches on – winning four Highland League titles and eight cups – has been replaced by a pristine playing surface over the summer.

The new turf is still a couple of weeks away from being ready for pounding feet, posing some difficulties for the club in terms of arranging friendly matches.

Brora will also be forced to play their first three league games away from home, but Macdonald is confident the club’s sizeable investment will be worthwhile.

“It has been fairly quiet friendly-wise, as the pitch isn’t ready to play on and we’ve been relying on training games with various teams,” Macdonald said.

“It was dug up completely and re-laid. The club has put in a decent effort with that and the it looks like a completely different ground now when you turn up at Brora.

“The pitch is incredible, but we need another couple of weeks for it to bed in properly before we can play on it.

“We’re a team that likes to try to play football and, in truth, I feel our old pitch was a bit of a leveller.

“In terms of rankings in the league, our pitch was definitely in the bottom half.

“The club has tackled it, and invested in it now, so we have no excuses now out on the park.

“We like to get the ball down and play and, at times, it was difficult to keep asking the boys to do that, it was just so bobbly.

“Now we will hopefully reap benefits. When we play on smooth surfaces at Ross County or Caley Thistle, we have seen how we don’t have to concentrate so much on our first touch because we know how the ball will come to us.

“Hopefully that will allow us to play with a bit more intensity as well and be even more dangerous, I guess.”

Brora’s currently tight playing squad have enjoyed decent closed doors work-outs against Ross County and Caley Thistle 18s, and against Forres Mechanics, while losing 3-0 to new SPFL side Spartans.

Macdonald is still seeking reinforcements ahead of their league opener away to Nairn County, but added: “The market for us is pretty small and it is hard to get players at the level we need them to be at if we are to continue to challenge, which is obviously what we want to do.

“But we’re on the look-out and have made a couple of approaches for players that we think could benefit us in terms of quality and making the squad a bit stronger.”

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