Contract extensions for key trio

21st November, 2016 •
Posted In: Squad News
Written By: Graeme Macleod •
Comments: 0 Comments

Three key Nairn County players have agreed contract extensions at Station Park.

Callum Maclean, Jack Maclean and Jordan Macrae were all due to be free agents in the summer but have now pledged their futures to Ronnie Sharp's side.

The Nairn boss said: "I am delighted that we have managed to tie these players up to new contracts."

"In the short time since I have been in the job, they have been superb to work with. They all have great attitudes and have really bought into what we are trying to achieve."

"These are the sorts of players we want to have in the squad - young and hungry with a willingness to learn and improve their games. They are all here for the right reasons and the fact that they have pledged their futures to us is a massive endorsement of what everyone at the club is trying to achieve."

"We have other players at the club who are in the final year of their contracts and we will be having conversations with them all over the next couple of months."

"Hopefully, we will have more good news on that front soon but in the meantime, I would like to thank the committee for concluding these deals."

Callum Maclean joined the club last summer from Fort William and has made 46 appearances in his season-and-a-half at Station Park, scoring five times.

The 25-year-old has been revelation at centre half in recent weeks, having originally come to the club as a midfielder. He has rebuffed interest from elsewhere in the Highland League to agree a two-year extension, keeping him at the club until 2019.

He said: "We are going the right way and a lot of the young players are getting their chances and taking them. It is good to have some experienced players there as well and I think I can offer quite a lot to the club in that respect."

"It is handy for me to be at Nairn with where I work and where I am based, so it was pretty easy decision to accept the extended deal."

"I like the way Ronnie tries to play football, which is probably why I have been put into the defence. We want to play out from the back and although a mistake when playing that way is likely to cost a goal, we can also create goals and I think that has been proven with the amount we have scored this season. It is more entertaining for the fans to see us play that way as well, so I am all for that."

Maclean started the season playing in the middle of the park but was moved into defence following the Scottish Cup exit at the hands of Preston Athletic and has not looked back.

"I have really enjoyed it," he stated. "You get more time on the ball and you can see the whole game, so picking out passes is a lot easier. I like it and I like the reasons for it - last season I was put there because we had a load of injuries whereas this time, I have been put there for tactical reasons and I like that. I definitely buy into what Ronnie's ideas for the team are."

Maclean is now looking for the team to kick on during the second half of the season having taken time to settle down at the start of the campaign following a summer of upheaval at the club.

He said: "We want to get as many points on the board as possible and we have to be looking upwards in the league given our last few results. I do not think our mindset should be to look at the teams below us and we should be aspiring for the top 10 or even the top eight. The cup draw was made today as well and we have to look to do well in that too. There is a lot to look forward to."

Jack Maclean is a product of the club's youth development programme, debuting as a substitute against Fort William during the 2014/15 season.

It is only this season under Sharp's management that he has become a regular though, having not appeared for the club since that maiden outing prior to being pitched into the team on the opening day of this campaign.

The versatile 19-year-old has not looked back, impressing with appearances in 16 of the club's 19 outings this season and netting the winner in the victory over Lossiemouth last month. He is now contracted to the club until 2020 having signed a three-year extension.

He said: "I am getting my chance this season and I am taking each game as it comes. We need to keep plugging away because we are getting better with each game."

"The club is going in the right direction and I am finally getting my chance to play regularly here, so I am enjoying my football. I am playing right wing back just now and I am really enjoying it but I am happy to play wherever I am put in the team."

"Hopefully, we can pick up more points in the second half of the season now that the club is stable and the team has good chemistry. Everyone knows each other now and we are all working well together."

Macrae arrived at the club at the start of last season from Inverness CT and excelled for the under-20s in the North of Scotland League.

He made just one top team appearance during the last campaign, coming on as a substitute for the final few minutes of the 6-1 win at Buckie Thistle last December.

The 18-year-old has really kicked on this season though with 17 appearances in all competitions so far, as well as breaking his duck in front of goal in the game against Inverurie Locos last week.

He has agreed a two-year extension to keep him at the club until 2019 and he said:"The season is going great for me and I am really enjoying it. I am getting game time and it is good to finally have a manager at the club who believes in me and is giving me the freedom to do what I want to do on the park."

"All of the boys at the club are brilliant and the club is now moving forward in a very meaningful way. I am happy to play anywhere I am needed and I am really enjoying getting some proper game time this season."

"I was delighted to score my first goal for the club the other week and hopefully I can step on from there and contribute more to the team. We are improving with every game, scoring lots of goals and things are only going to get better."

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