Formartine United goalkeeper Ewen Macdonald is hoping to make the most of his opportunities this season.
The custodian, 25, has spent the majority of the last three-and-a-half years as deputy to Kevin Main at North Lodge Park.
However, with Main returning to Buckie Thistle this summer the opportunity is there for Macdonald to make the place between the posts his own.
On-loan Cove Rangers goalkeeper Balint Demus is also challenging for the No1 spot.
Macdonald said: “I had bide my time when Kevin was here, but I also learned a lot from Kevin and our goalkeeping coaches as well.
“I also learned a lot when I was out on loan at Rothes for the season (2019-20).
“Balint is here this season and he’s a great goalkeeper so we’ve got good competition and I’ll just be taking each game as it comes.
“All the goalkeepers I worked with have helped, whether it’s Kevin Main or Andy Reid, you can take bits of advice from them and learn from them.
“I’m grateful to have had that grounding and worked with those guys.”
Promising start to campaign
Macdonald performed well in his first competitive outing this season.
He made a string of saves during the 90 minutes and then saved a penalty in the shoot-out as Formartine defeated Buckie 7-6 on spot-kicks to reach the final of the Evening Express Aberdeenshire Cup last week.
Macdonald was pleased with that display and is now preparing for United’s Highland League opener against Fraserburgh – who they will also face in the Shire Cup final – at Bellslea this weekend.
He added: “I thought I did well. We haven’t had many pre-season games so it was just about finding a rhythm and match sharpness again.
“I was happy enough, but I maybe should have done a bit better with a few crosses and a few kicks.
“There is still room for improvement in those areas.
“But as a defensive unit it was good start with a clean sheet and we hope to continue that.
“One a personal level, I was pleased with how I played as well.”