NAIRN County is delighted to confirm the appointment of Brian Macleod to the club’s backroom team. The former captain will work alongside Michael Rae in support of manager Ronnie Sharp.
The 37-year-old stood down as assistant manager of Clachnacuddin at the end of last season, having also served the Lilywhites as under-20s Head Coach during the second half of the campaign. He spent four years on the coaching staff at Grant Street, during which time the Merkinch club lifted the Highland League (Morganti) Cup in 2014.
Macleod said: “When I left Clach at the tail end of the season, my intention was to take a few months out. I have been out for four months now, so I am delighted to be back involved with football.
“When the opportunity came up to come in and help at Nairn, it was something I was keen to do. I have been here before – I was here as a player for a good number of years. I know a lot of the players and it was an easy decision to come in. I am keen to get going and I cannot wait to get started.”
Macleod already has a good understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of the squad and worked alongside Sharp at training last night after being introduced to the players.
He added: “I have watched quite a few of the games so far this season, so I know a lot of the players. I worked with Ryan MacDonald and Dylan Mackenzie at Clach and I have played alongside a couple of the others. They are a good young squad and they have done great so far – I think there is a lot of potential there.
“Ronnie has done a brilliant job and I just hope to be able to add what I can and see where it takes us. It will be difficult because the league is so competitive now – the top six or seven clubs are in a bit of a mini league of their own but below that, it is competitive and last year proved for the club if you can go on a good run then anything can happen.
“I know the club are keen to push on and try to finish up as high as possible and if I can add to that in any way in helping out then I will look to do it. At Clach, I enjoyed helping to develop the young players and obviously there are plenty of good young players at Nairn as has been seen over the last few seasons. Hopefully, I can help improve the team and bring on these young players – that is the main aim.”
Nairn County Director of Football Graeme Macleod said: “Ronnie has been looking to add to the coaching staff for the last few weeks and Brian was his number one choice for the role, so we are delighted to have brought him on board. It has been a tough shift for Ronnie and Mike to run the team themselves for the last two years and they both deserve enormous credit for how far the team has come in a relatively short period of time.
“This appointment is another step forward and takes the pressure off Ronnie and Mike, allowing them the time to focus on other tasks which may have been overlooked. Brian has the trust of Ronnie and they both have a similar train of thought on what needs to be done to take the team further.
“Brian is a highly-thought-of coach and he had offers from other clubs in the Highland League and higher up, so it is fantastic news for the club that he has chosen to come home to Nairn. It adds another layer to the management structure to give us a strong and stable backroom team, with Brian and Mike working alongside Ronnie and further support being provided by our aspiring under-20s coaches, Stuart Finnie and Mark Greig.”
Ronnie Sharp said: “I am delighted that Brian has decided to join us and I am looking forward to working with him.
“We need some fresh ideas and another pair of eyes to look at things from a different perspective from Mike and I and Brian will bring that. He has several years’ coaching experience from his time at Clach and he has a great hunger and enthusiasm for the game.
“When Graeme and I met with him, it felt like it would be a natural fit for him to come in and join the club and I am sure that will be the case. I know Brian very well already having signed him for Nairn as a player and we have kept in touch over the years, so I am sure he will have no problem settling in and prove to be a great addition.”
Macleod initially joined Nairn on loan from Ross County during the 1999/00 season before coming in permanently in the summer of 2003 after a short trial period, in which he scored the only goal of a 1-0 win over Fraserburgh on the last day of the 2002/03 season to secure a fifth-place finish in the table.
He quickly became a regular in the team, earning plaudits for his consistently high level of performance before captaining the club to the 2008/09 North of Scotland Cup, scoring in the 2-1 final win over Inverness CT.
He transferred to Clachnacuddin in 2010 to end a seven-year spell with the club and after eight years away from Station Park, he is now back for a third time.