New Cove Rangers striker Nick Gray is willing to run himself into the ground in an effort to help them win at Brora tomorrow.
Former Turriff United front man Gray is poised to make his debut in their Highland League Cup semi-final clash in Sutherland.
The 25-year-old hasn’t played a competitive match since the start of January after being transfer listed by Turriff.
Gray has assured Cove boss John Sheran that lack of match practice won’t stop him bursting a gut in an effort to help them reach the final.
“I might only last an hour before doubling up with cramp and crawling off, ” said Gray, who had been with Turriff for five years after joining them from Aberdeen Junior side Banks o’ Dee.
“But I’m sure the excitement of making my debut in such a big game, against Brora as well, would help carry me through.
“Not having played since January 7 obviously isn’t ideal.
“But I have been doing full training sessions every Monday and Wednesday and a lot of other fitness stuff on my own.
“I feel I’m in good shape and ready to do a job if the manager wants me to.
“The last eight to nine weeks have been very frustrating because all I want to do is play football.
“I can hardly believe I have gone from that to being given the chance to join Cove at this stage of the season, when we could still win the league and cup double.
“Hopefully I can do my bit to help Cove achieve that.”
Gray won two Morrison Motors Aberdeenshire Shields during his time at The Haughs and is desperate to add to his honours at Highland League level.
“The League Cup and title are the big ones,” he said.
Sheran had planned to move for Gray at the end of the season but changed that plan when Cove’s former Dons striker Jonny Smith was ruled out for the rest of the campaign by a knee injury.
Gray said: “It’s obviously disappointing that my move was accelerated because of the club’s injury problems.
“But I’m glad to get the opportunity to get going now, with a view to maybe being among the first-team regulars next season.
“Cove gave me a two-year deal and I aim to make the best of that.”
Brora beat Cove on penalties at the same stage of the competition last season on the road to winning the trophy. The roles were reversed the season before, when Cove beat Brora in the preliminary round before going on to beat Wick in the final.
Cove boss Sheran said: “We have tended to have some epic battles with Brora and we expect this one to be the same.
“They have all of their top players back, so must be seen as the favourites.
“But if you want to win trophies you are going to have to show you can beat the top sides somewhere down the line.”
Cove have winger Ryan Stott as a major doubt through injury.
Midfielder Daniel Park misses out because of work commitments.