County complete double swoop

5th August, 2016 •
Posted In: Squad News
Written By: Graeme Macleod •
Comments: 0 Comments

RONNIE Sharp has secured a further two signings in time for tomorrow's match against Deveronvale, writes Graeme Macleod.

Attacking duo Dylan Mackenzie and Jamie Mackay have put pen to paper on deals until the end of the season at Station Park. They join Gary Kerr and Calum Riddell as Sharp's new signings since returning to the club last month.

Mackenzie will be a permanent member of the first team squad despite being only 17. He caught Sharp's eye in the North of Scotland League last season, when he scored a hat trick in a 4-1 win for Clachnacuddin over County.

The manager said: "Dylan is an exciting prospect. We spotted him in the under-20s last season when he did really well against us."

"He looks like he is going to be an exceptional player. His finishing was excellent when he played for Clach against us in the under-20s league. I spoke to Ally Munro (Nairn County under-20s manager) and he said he has been a thorn in his side throughout the years when Ally has been taking Nairn teams at various different age levels. Ally rates him highly, so we are delighted to get him."

The young attacker said: "I am looking forward to starting and being involved in my first game on Saturday."

"I was with Clach and spoke to Ronnie (Sharp) over the summer when I was playing in the amateurs with Ardersier. I was then away on holiday and was away playing football in Denmark last week, which held things up a bit."

"Ronnie asked if I wanted to come along and do a bit of training. When I was at Clach last season, I was only with the 20s, so I thought that coming here would be a step up."

"I am just looking to work my way into the team this season and try to do as much as I can for the team. I can play up front through the middle as a striker and I enjoy playing out wide as a winger as well but I will play wherever I am asked and do whatever I am asked to do for the team."

"It has been a good start for me in training this week and I am getting to know the rest of the guys really quickly. I knew Jordan (Macrae), Ryan (Macleod) and (Callum) Ednie already, so I spoke to them before coming here. I was in school with Jordan and Ryan and I have played football with Eds before, so that will hopefully help me to settle in."

Mackay - known as "Novo" - returns to Station Park after a successful trial period this summer. He played for Nairn during from 2011 to 2013, making 10 appearances.

The 29-year-old said: "It is nice to be back. It has been three or four years since I played in the Highland League, so I am looking forward to starting at this level again."

"A few of the boys are still here from when I played with Nairn previously, so that has made things easier for me. I have been playing amateur football in Inverness over the last few years, so I am looking forward to testing myself at a higher level again."

"Shaun Kerr, the ex-Nairn striker, asked me along to play for his team, Avoch. I went and played a few games for them to try to enjoy my football again and I have been playing a lot of squash as well, which keeps me going fitness-wise."

"I have enjoyed the last few weeks training and playing as a trialist at Nairn, although the legs have been a bit sore but that will be to do with not training over the last few years and I am sure I will be fine once we get going."

"I am looking to get back to enjoying playing football at this level and to get some game time because I never got a lot of game time when I was here a few years ago."

Sharp added: "Novo has done really well during pre-season. He has come off the bench and has looked really quick and direct, which is what we are looking for. He has done well during training and worked hard to earn a contract."

County play their second home game in a row tomorrow with the visit of a Deveronvale side, who made a winning start to their Highland League campaign last weekend when they defeated Fort William 4-2.

Sharp commented: "Vale are always tough opponents, especially in my time here previously when they had an exceptional side. I think Steve Dolan is looking to get them back up to that standard again."

"I knew Steve as a player - he was a tremendous player with a lot of endeavour and he will be looking for the same from his team on the pitch."

"We are going to have to make a few more enforced changes and it will not settle down for another couple of weeks yet. There will be changes at the back, which does not help but hopefully we will be solid enough. We have Wayne Mackintosh, our captain, back which is good for us and hopefully we can go and cause them a few problems."

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