Inverurie Locos manager Andy Low believes they have built an attack which can compete with anything in the Highland League after Kieran Shanks committed his future to the club.
The 19-year-old striker has penned a two-year contract extension to remain at Harlaw Park.
That means boss Low will be able to call upon Shanks, Robert Ward, Nathan Meres, Neil Gauld and Andy Hunter next season.
He said: “We only had a handful of games this season, but Kieran stamped his authority on those games early on.
"SHANKS VERY MUCH KIERAN!"Andy Low's preparations for the 2021/22 campaign continue at pace, with the exciting young…
“He’s going to be a big player for us going forward.
“We also signed Robert Ward and we signed Nathan Meres last year so I believe we’ve signed three of the best young forwards in the league.
“That’s on top of what we already had in Neil Gauld and Andy Hunter.
“It’s exciting times for us and I feel we’ve got a strong front five which competes with anything else in the Highland League.”
Shanks can continue to progress
Former Aberdeen youth Shanks joined Inverurie last year.
However, Locos only played five games during the 2020-21 campaign, which was cut short because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Low is pleased he is staying with the Railwaymen and reckons he has a bright future.
He added: “I’m delighted, Kieran has indicated to us that he was really happy at Inverurie Locos.
“In terms of his Highland League future he didn’t see it anywhere else, which is great for us.
“As is usually the case with young lads who have ambitions they want to see if there is anything else out and about as well.
“But we’re delighted Kieran has signed on again. I think he’s made the right decision and he’ll have a big couple of years at Locos.
“Hopefully we can help him with his progression onwards and upwards as well if that’s what he wants to do.”
Low is keen to give younger players an opportunity and build an Inverurie side which can be competitive for years to come.
He said: “One thing when I came in I felt I needed to create my own squad.
“The Locos team had just about been the same team over a four or five year period and was almost coming to the end of a cycle.
“I felt we needed to develop a new Locos team and I think if you look at the team for next season in comparison to the last two or three years I think it will be a new Locos side which can stay together for three or four years.
“As well as keeping the likes of your Neil Gauld, Neil McLean, Andy Reid and Ryan Broadhurst who are experienced and really important to the club.”