Stuart Smith is pleased to have stood the test of time with Formartine United.
The defender, who joined the Pitmedden side in 2011, penned a two-year contract extension earlier this week and hopes to face Turriff United at North Lodge Park tomorrow.
Included in Smith’s new deal is a testimonial and the 30-year-old is pleased to be closing in on a decade with United having worked under managers Steve Paterson, Kris Hunter and current boss Paul Lawson.
Smith said: “The testimonial does mean a lot and it’s good to get recognition for my service to the club.
“In the first part of my time at Formartine there were quite a lot of personnel changes at the club.
“Steve Paterson changed the squad a couple of times and then Kris Hunter came in and did likewise.
“So there is a bit of satisfaction to have stood the test of time and still be with the club.
“I’m really chuffed to get the new contract signed and I’m looking forward to the next couple of years with Formartine.
“The years at the club are adding up and it does feel a bit surreal to think I’ve been with Formartine eight and a half years.
“It doesn’t seem that long ago that I joined and I have a lot of good memories to look back on.
“Winning cups and having good runs in the Scottish Cup have been some of the big highlights.”
Tomorrow Formartine are aiming for their third straight win when Turra visit Pitmedden.
After a poor run of form in November and December Smith hopes United can build some momentum in the coming weeks.
He added: “I haven’t played in the last two games, but the boys have got two good wins (against Buckie Thistle and Fort William).
“We just need to try to keep the momentum going because that’s what we’ve struggled with this season is stringing results together.
“That’s the hallmark of any good season if you can go on a long winning run, so hopefully we can do that.”
Meanwhile, Turriff United’s Robert Ward believes they are making progress. The Haughs outfit are 15th in the table ahead of their visit to North Lodge Park.
Striker Ward joined Turra last summer following his release from Dundee United. The 18-year-old is one of many young players to be pitched into first-team football by Kris Hunter this season.
Although some results have been frustrating, Ward – who’s bagged seven goals this campaign – is optimistic about the future.
He said: “We can see definite progression from the start of this season to where we are now.
“We’ve brought in one or two slightly more experienced players, but there are still six or seven young players in the team most weeks.
“Over the course of the next season or two I believe you will see Turriff start to climb the table and we will be competing more.”
Although Turriff will start the clash with Formartine as underdogs, it’s a challenge Ward will relish.
He added: “Formartine are a good team and when we play sides like Formartine it shows us where we want to be.
“They are one of those teams where it’s a challenge to play them, but we’ll have the same positive mindset and believe we can get a result.”