NAIRN County are delighted to confirm the promotion of eight Nairn-based players from the under-17s squad to the under-20s for this season.
Meanwhile, midfielder Lewis Mitchell has also joined the squad having played with Inverness CT’s under-17s team last season.
Sean McWilliams, Logan Hallam, Ciaran Young, Tyler Eadie, Angus Davidson, Scott Cruden, Harry Barron and Duncan Robertson all from Nairn played for the club’s under-17s last year and have been selected to join Stuart Finnie’s under-20s pool this year.
Finnie said: “We keep an eye on the under-17s and went and watched a lot of their games last season, so we saw close hand what these players could do. We also have Mark (Greig) as part of the coaching team with the under-20s now and he took the under-17s last season, so he knows all about these players.
“Sean came in from Inverness CT last season and played a bit for us in the under-20s but was young enough to play in the 17s where he played mostly and although Logan has had injury problems this summer, we know all about what he can do and had him up with us last season when he played a few games and did well.
“Ciaran and Tyler have come into the squad and done well and they both also featured for us last season. In fact, we even had Tyler up the year before when he was still in his first year with the 17s.
“Big Angus was also called up to play a couple of games for us in the second half of last season and I had not seen much of Scott before but we gave him a chance over pre-season and he has grabbed it with both hands.
“Dunco (Robertson) is another who has come into the team and not looked out of place and although we were unsure about Harry, that was nothing to do with his football ability but down to his other commitments – he is an exceptional squash player for his age, which can limit his availability but we said to him to come along to pre-season and see how it goes and he has earned the right to have a place in the squad through training hard and his commitment to the cause.
“Lewis came to our attention through a contact and we worked hard to get him in. There was other interest in him and you can see why. He is a classy player I am looking forward to working with him over the season.”
Finnie added: “It is just the beginning for all these players now and they must not rest on their laurels if they want to remain with us in the future. The hard work starts now because there will be another wave of players coming through from the under-17s next summer, so if any of our squad for this season are not cutting it then we will have no hesitation in replacing them with a younger player.
“Equally, it is a great opportunity for these players to push on and work towards representing the first team. It is a bonus that all eight of the players who have come up from the under-17s are from Nairn. They are all young enough to play with the under-20s for four seasons, so they should all be ambitious to make the most of this chance to progress towards the first team squad like a number of players have done before them over the last couple of years by preparing properly, doing their best and working their hardest at each and every training session and game.”
The under-20s play their first home match of the season tomorrow when they host St Duthus in the Football Times Cup at Station Park. Kick-off is at 1.30 pm and entry is free.