Buckie Thistle manager Graeme Stewart believes Brechin City will be a good addition to the Highland League.
The Angus club will play in the Highland League next season following their relegation in the pyramid play-offs.
The Glebe Park side have already indicated they are targeting a swift return to the SPFL ranks.
Stewart believes that will be good for standard of the league overall, even if it does mean another side that could potentially be vying with Buckie for honours.
Victoria Park boss Stewart said: “Playing different teams is good with Brechin coming into the league.
“We always look forward to the Scottish Cup, because you can play teams from elsewhere.
“Having Brechin in the league will be a change, as they’ve been in the Scottish League for a long time.
“They’ll take the standard of the Highland League up and be another side looking to win leagues and cups.
“That’s good for the standard of the Highland League overall.
“But for us it’s another challenger to win the league and win trophies.
“It’s good to have the extra competition and it’ll be good for us to test ourselves against Brechin.
“We’ll be up against players who have played senior football and that’s always a good test.
“But for Brora, Fraserburgh, ourselves, Inverurie, Formartine – who want to win the league – it’s another challenger.
“There’s positives and negatives, but I look at the positives and the positive is it’s another scalp for us to take.”
Hoping for a full season
The 2021-22 Highland League campaign is set to begin in July with a full complement of 34 games.
After the 2019-20 season was cut short and no side played more than three league games last term, Stewart is looking forward to a more normal season.
He added: “Getting a full season would be another step towards normality, because we haven’t had it for the last two seasons.
“In 2019-20 we missed the last eight games and then last season we only got two or three.
“It’s been stop-start and it’s difficult for the players, because they’re missing a big chunk of their career.
“A lot of players in their prime want to be playing and they haven’t been able to much recently.”
Fan return would be welcomed
Fans are also set to return next season, although social distancing measures are likely to still be in place.
Stewart said: “It seems like we’ll be able to get fans back and hopefully it won’t be too far away from what our normal crowd was.
“We need to get crowds in to help clubs from the financial aspect.
“It’s also good for supporters to be able to get out to football again.”