Buckie Thistle boss Graeme Stewart reckons the shortened Highland League season will lead to a great title race.
The 16-game campaign will begin on October 17 and the Jags’ gaffer said: “It’s a weight off everyone’s shoulders because you couldn’t plan much until we knew when we were starting.
“With 16 games I think the league will be exciting, I think it maybe gives teams who haven’t challenged so much recently a chance to try to win it.
“If you get some good luck with the fixtures and make a good start to the season and start firing then you can be up there and challenging.
“I don’t see why there can’t be six or seven teams close and challenging and a dark horse winning it.
“If you go on a run of five or six games at the start you can be sitting top and suddenly you’ve only got nine or 10 games left to try to win it.”
Stewart is also pleased the 2019-20 Highland League Cup will be completed, with Buckie set to face Brora Rangers in the semi-final and Formartine United hosting Rothes.
He added: “I’m delighed the League Cup is being played because it means a lot to everyone involved and you don’t want to lose the tradition and not have a winner for a year.
“It’s something for us to look forward to and it’s a chance to win silverware.”