NAIRN County Football Club can confirm that Gregg Main has extended his contract at Station Park to the summer of 2019, writes Graeme Macleod.
The 28-year-old midfielder missed most of last season through work commitments but has been back with a bang at the start of this campaign, nailing down the deep-lying midfielder role.
Manager Les Fridge said: “It is a real boost because he was a big miss for us last year with him being away for work. He is now back, which is brilliant and you can even see that in his performances for us so far this season – he has been immense and once he gets fitter, he will only get better.”
Main was a regular under Fridge before work commitments scuppered his season last year leading to a frustratingly low number of squad appearances for the number 10.
A change in circumstances has made him available permanently though and Fridge feels that can only benefit both the player and the team.
He added: “Last season, he would come back for two weeks, be on the bench and then away again. At this level, it is a huge thing to be available regularly for training, especially the way that we train. It is a big part of things and you have to be working hard for it to show in games.”
Main debuted for the club against Inverness CT in the North of Scotland Cup on March 17th 2004 and has since gone on to win that competition twice and the Highland League Cup once after spending the 2004/05 and 2005/06 seasons on loan at Nairn St Ninian.
Since returning to Station Park, he has forged a reputation as a creative, attacking midfielder but of late has found himself at the base of the midfield five, a role in which he has excelled.
But Fridge stated: “It is not to say that he will not still go forward for us – that is not something I have ruled out by any manner of means. At the moment, with the way that we are playing, he is in a slightly different role to what he is used to but it is something I think is working at the moment and suits him.”
Fridge has also brought in some cover in the goalkeeping department with 19-year-old stopper Dylan Maclean agreeing a two-year contract.
The young ‘keeper will help fill the void left by the recent departures of Callum Donaldson and Michael MacCallum with Sam Maclean’s availability also set to be restricted.
Fridge explained: “Sam goes away back to university in September, so we have brought in young Dylan because he has a good pedigree for his age. He has already played in the Highland League for Clach and we are delighted to get him on board.
“Michael MacCallum has obviously gone to Strathspey because he needed first team football and we were not going to stand in his way but it meant we were a bit short.
“I went with a trialist goalkeeper (Graeme Shepherd) for the game last week at Deveronvale. My reason for that is that I thought it was just too big a game for Sam quite yet.
“Sam’s opportunity will come but that sort of game was a bit early for him. He has been involved a lot in pre-season though and his time will come.”
The new signing was on the bench for the first time in the North of Scotland Cup quarter final win at Strathspey Thistle last midweek.
Fridge added: “Dylan has been at Clach and he has played in the amateur leagues. He was doing a bit of training with Michael Fraser (former Inverness CT, Motherwell and Ross County goalkeeper) and Joe Malin (Brora Rangers goalkeeper) and came highly recommended to us. It is now between himself and Sam to battle away to challenge Calum Antell which will be great for them.”
Pictures by Kenny Macleod (Cutter Photography)