Inverurie Locos boss Andy Low has still given his squad an appraisal of the season – and his hopes for next term – despite the abrupt end to the campaign.
Highland League clubs took the step of calling time on the season early and declaring leaders Brora Rangers champions after Scottish football’s coronavirus shutdown on March 13 ruled out the prospect of the game resuming any time soon.
Locos, as a result, ended the season runners-up, 13 points behind the Cattachs and four ahead of third-placed Fraserburgh, although both had played fewer games than the Railwaymen.
Since taking the reins at Harlaw Park, Low has made clear he wants the Garioch outfit to challenge on all fronts, and his players now have an extended period to reflect on their personal performances over the campaign.
The manager, who revealed he’s been in frequent contact with the squad during the Covid-19 crisis, said: “I’ve handed out appraisals to the players for the end of season, just on what my thoughts were at the end of the season and what I’m looking for when they come back.
“There’s been constant contact with the boys daily, who know I’m always here and know I’ll always be in touch with them.
“It’ll be like that throughout until we’re allowed back for pre-season basically.”
Locos previously announced they had joined other Highland League sides in reaching an agreement with staff, players and coaches for them to forego wages while the coronavirus pandemic means football is suspended.
Low himself revealed to the Evening Express he thought, with no money coming into clubs at the moment, it was a “no-brainer” for the management and squad to help preserve the historic Aberdeenshire outfit for the future.
He said he felt privileged to be in the hotseat at Harlaw Park – and it’s a role he clearly takes seriously, giving his part-time players fitness plans to ensure they don’t go to rack and ruin during the off-season.
However, Low says he has prescribed his players a little bit of rest while they’re in lockdown.
He said: “From my point of view, over the last couple of weeks I’ve been asking them to keep themselves ticking over because we thought we’d be going back to football.
“But over the next month it’s important the guys rest.
“They need a break, because they’ve played football for the last eight or nine months.
“While it’s important they rest, it’s also important they do what’s needed within their own body to keep themselves ticking over as well. I’ve given them each a programme which I hope they stick to.
“It’s guidance as to what we’re expecting when they come back.”