Written by Graeme MacLeod May 7th 2024

Two of the top performing players from our Under-18s team last season have been promoted to the First Team squad.

Goalkeeper Liam Mackenzie (right) and attacker Josh Stephenson have both put pen to paper on deals to remain with the club for the new season.

Liam is a 17-year-old shot stopper who has been with us since the 2019/20 season and has spent much of this campaign on loan at Nairn St Ninian – where he has established himself as the first choice goalkeeper – as well as starring for our Under-18s. He was previously with Ross County.

Josh joined us two years ago having previously been with Inverness CT. He is an 18-year-old wide player from Geddes who was involved with the First Team squad over the closing weeks of the season, debuting in the 4-0 win at Strathspey Thistle in March. He picked up the Coaches’ Player of the Year awards for our Under-18s squad this season.

Manager Ross Tokely said: “I am delighted to bring Liam and Josh into the squad ahead of the start of pre-season training. This is a well-earned reward for all of their hard work and positive performances last season.

“We have had a lot of good feedback from Nairn St Ninian on Liam’s progress with them and we have seen first hand how Josh has done when he has been involved with the First Team.

“Brian (Macleod, Assistant Manager) and Wayne (Mackintosh, Player / Coach) both speak highly of the two boys as well and it is now down to them to make the most of this opportunity. I am keen for us to promote our own players through the youth system as much as possible, provided they show the right attitude and reach the required performance levels, which Josh and Liam have done.

“It is testament to the hard work of the youth coaches at the club that these players are now in the position to progress into the First Team squad. The next challenge for them both is to earn time on the pitch once the season starts and we will be working with them at training to help them as much as we can to achieve this.”

Liam will continue his loan at Nairn St Ninian until the end of their season on June 1st while both players’ commitments with the Under-18s have now concluded.

Image by Kenny Macleod Photography.

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