Locos looking forward to last Cove encounter at old ground

Ice on the Harlaw Park pitch forced the cancellation of the Turriff match
Ice on the Harlaw Park pitch forced the cancellation of the Turriff match

Inverurie Locos much anticipated local derby clash at Harlaw Park with Turriff Utd was one of eight Highland football matches falling victim to the ongoing big freeze at the weekend.

However it has been a busy spell for the club, with a number of players coming slowly back into contention for places in the team in the weeks ahead

Referee Craig Sim gives the pitch at Harlaw Park the thumbs down on Saturday morning due to ice.

Referee Craig Sim gives the pitch at Harlaw Park the thumbs down on Saturday morning due to ice.

Co-Managers Kenny Coull and Scott Buchan summarise the availability situation and start off with the signing of ex Huntly and Turriff Utd goalkeeper Grant Pennet: “Grant Pennet has been signed by Inverurie Loco Works FC as a third keeper for the remainder of the season. Grant will come into the squad to challenge the goalkeeper who is currently in possession of the number 1 shirt Scott Mathieson.

“This signing has been made due to the unavailability of Andy Reid who over the past few months has been absent through a various of reasons; injury, illness and 
work commitments.

“We look forward to getting Andy back in the squad, but for the time being as managers we have to ensure that the club has cover in all positions. Grant comes into the squad with good SHFL and Junior experience, has a good work ethic and is a timely addition to the squad.”

On the injury situation at the Club: “The last couple of weeks has seen the return of Andy Hunter to training after a long layoff with injury. We have been building his training up gradually to ensure that he has no further setbacks and his quality to the squad will keep our other players competitive. Andy has returned looking fresh and the focus will be to get him match sharp so that appearances can happen sooner rather than later.

“As a club we all welcome back Mark Soutar who has begun light training after his bad ankle break. Mark has worked hard in his own time to ensure he can return to do jogging and running with the rest of the lads relatively quickly since his plaster has been removed. His return, even if only to light training increases the team spirit within the team. The lad has attended games and training throughout his injury and we are all delighted to see 
his progress.”

Neil Gauld looks to be a longer term absence. Recent scans have shown more damage than was first feared. In the next couple of weeks we should have an idea of how he will be progressing after a course of injections into the ankle area. We all wish Neil a speedy recovery and hope to see him being more active in the near future.

“David Ross is still in rehab with his groin injury and he is working closely with physio Ashley Armstrong and we hope to see him training again in the next couple of weeks”.

Although the return of snow is a threat to Saturday’s big game at Allan Park, it is hoped Aberdeen will escape the worst of the elements. With Locos supporters deprived of regular action other than the Clachnacuddin game in recent times, there can be no doubt the last ever Cove v Locos League game at the ground will be well attended. John Sheran’s team will play their football elsewhere next season ahead of their new ground being constructed

Messrs Coull and Buchan as ex-Cove players will be well up to the challenge, their team coming up against the victors of the Breedon Aggregates Highland League Cup opening round tie at Dudgeon Park against League Champions Brora Rangers. Cove won the tie on penalties and have not lost to the Cattachs this season.

They are slowly creeping up the table but with a growing squad, Locos are still well in contention to win the League so this game promises to be a cracker. Kick off at Allan Park is at 3pm.