Fort adds nine new lo­cal play­ers to squad ahead of sea­son start

The Oban Times - - TIMES SPORT -

FORT Wil­liam teenager and new Ca­ley This­tle goal­keep­ing pro­fes­sional, Martin Mackin­non, and for­mer Fort cap­tain, An­drew Martin, are among nine new lo­cal ad­di­tions to the club’s squad ahead of the new sea­son.

Fort co-man­ager Ali Smith re­vealed his new 22-strong squad ahead of Satur­day’s sea­son opener away to Keith.

Smith, one of a whole new man­age­ment struc­ture at the club, says there is a real ex­cit­ment and buzz about the team fol­low­ing a suc­cess­ful pre-sea­son.

‘We’ve added nine new play­ers, who are all lo­cal boys and we’re hop­ing to add an­other two to the squad in the next fort­night,’ Smith told us ear­lier this week.

Young­ster Mackin­non, aged 17, who has just signed a two-year con­tract with Ca­ley This­tle, is on a sea­son’s loan to Fort, while he trains with the In­ver­ness side.

For­mer Fort skip­per and cen­tre-half Martin re­turns to play­ing af­ter a five-year ab­sence due to an in­jury.

‘ We are ab­so­lutely de­lighted to have Martin Mackin­non on loan and to play a part in the next stage of his de­vel­op­ment as a player,’ Smith said.

‘And we are also re­ally pleased to have An­drew Martin back as he brings a lot of ex­pe­ri­ence to what is a very young team.’

The other seven new ad­di­tions are Lopez broth­ers Kieran and Steven, John Trea­surer, Scott Hunter, Ro­nan Cameron and youth de­vel­op­ment play­ers, Ryan Hen­der­son and Billy Ry­d­ings, who step up to the se­nior squad.

Smith added: ‘See­ing Ryan and Billy take the next step in their foot­ball ca­reers is fan­tas­tic and it shows the great work the de­vel­op­ment squad is do­ing to help pro­duce play­ers for the se­nior team.’

The new ad­di­tions to the squad com­ple­ment a core of al­ready es­tab­lished play­ers and Smith hopes this blend will pay div­i­dends on and off the park.

‘We now have a re­ally strong squad in­clud­ing a strong rep­re­sen­ta­tion of lo­cal foot­ballers which is great for us,’ Smith con­tin­ued.

‘Our pre-sea­son went re­ally well. Nat­u­rally there will be ups and downs dur­ing the sea­son, but what will make all the dif­fer­ence is if we can get more sup­port through the gates at Clag­gan Park for our home games.’

Smith ad­mits Satur­day’s away game to Keith will be tough but is con­fi­dent his young team - which he will name af­ter Thurs­day night train­ing - will ac­quit it­self well.

‘ We need to per­form well against Keith and then take that mo­men­tum into our first home game on Wed­nes­day night at Clag­gan Park against Rothes,’ he said. Kick- off 8pm.

Fort New Man­age­ment team, from left, joint man­ager Ali Smith, goal­keep­ing coach Ally MacPher­son and joint man­ager Paul MacLellan.

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