Stalwart Willie West has not given up hope of Fraserburgh lifting the Highland League title before he hangs up his boots.
Versatile West, who has played every outfield position for the Broch over the years, made his debut under Charlie Duncan more than 17 years ago when he was just 15.
Now into his thirties, West – who has won every other honour under the long-serving Duncan, Kris Hunter and then current boss Mark Cowie – says it feels like last year’s runners-ups have been getting closer to a first league championship since 2001/02 in recent years.
West said: “To win the league you’ve got to be almost flawless.
“Brora don’t drop many points and you’ve got to be really consistent. Cove showed that when they won the league – it’s won weeks in advance.
“With Cove moving on, Brora have taken over the mantle and said to the rest of the teams: ‘we are the team to beat here’.
“The squad they’ve got one to 11 is good enough to play league football.
“We’ve got to overcome that and get to that level to win the league.
“But it’s definitely been getting better, we’ve been improving and I think the players at the club have learned a lot from previous seasons.
“Hopefully we’ve learned from last season, where we were a couple of goals up in key games early on and ended up drawing.
“I hope it doesn’t happen again, because I think we see games out a lot more professionally now.”
The Highland League season is currently suspended, along with the rest of Scottish football below the Championship, due to a worsening of the Covid-19 situation and will restart in February at the earliest.
West says the Broch squad and staff were unanimous in wanting to play on – “The feel in our camp has always been, if we’re allowed to play, we’d like to play” – but said he understands the SFA’s call.
West’s Northern Goal interview sees him talk through his long playing career – academy football with Aberdeen, the heartbreak of leaving the Dons and his Fraserburgh love affair, including the tales around the trophies won and lost. Northern Goal is available here.
⚫️⚪️ We released a new episode of our Northern Goal podcast this morning…
— EveningExpress Sport (@ee_sport) January 22, 2021