Inverurie Locos boss Andy Low reckons this season’s Highland League title race could be one of the toughest to win.
The league has already announced a shortened season due to the Covid-19 pandemic with the new term scheduled to start on November 28.
When preparing for the 2020-21 campaign, the league’s management committee already decided it was going to play a 16-game schedule, which meant teams only played each other once.
Locos, when the original calendar was announced, were slated to play champions Brora Rangers away from home on the first day of the season.
Looking forward to whats ahead 🔴⚫🔴📝 https://t.co/NSnHIGFgQI
— Andy Low (@AndyLowser10) November 4, 2020
Whenever the league is able to get underway it is likely to mean a sprint to the finish line, making the margin for error to be at the top even smaller.
Low said: “We’ve got Brora in the first game of the season, if the fixtures stay as they are. In the back of our minds, that’s the one we have got to prepare for.
“Whoever comes through this season and wins it – I think it’s going to be one of the toughest to win.
“If you go on and win it, you deserve a lot of credit as you’re probably going to have to win nearly all of your games. There’s no second half of the season, so you’ve just got to hit the ground running.
“There’s no right answers. Everyone has been doing things differently. It will be interesting to see who’s done the best preparation over this period.”
Low this week penned a new deal at Harlaw Park until 2024, along with assistant Steven Park, first-team coach Richard Davidson and goalkeeping coach John Farquhar.
He has been pleased with the squad he has put in place over the long hiatus for the league, with Nathan Meres joining from Cove Rangers and Hamish Ritchie signing after spending four years in America.
Ritchie has since joined Cove on a short-term loan until January, as a result of uncertainty over the start of the Highland League.
Low hopes, with the stability of a new contract, the club can go from strength-to-strength and challenge for silverware in the coming years.
He added: “Over the last few years Locos haven’t been in cup finals and have not really played like they were competing for the Highland League title. Brora Rangers and Cove have been clear winners.
“I want Locos to win it or be in a position where they feel close to winning it. That’s my ambition over the next three or four years.
“I feel we’ve got a young, exciting group that I like working with. We’re looking to go in a different direction to what the club has in the last few years and I have done that with the signings I’ve made.
“I think there’s a gap between Locos and Brora at this moment in time but I’m hoping with the work we’ve done and the signings we’ve made, we have closed that.”