Tomorrow’s Evening Express Aberdeenshire Cup tie cannot come quick enough for Fraserburgh defender Ryan Christie.
The 35-year-old will make his return to action after missing more than a year due to a cruciate injury when his side welcomes Inverurie Locos to Bellslea Park for the second round tie.
For Christie, his long wait to play competitively is almost over.
He said: “It has been a long six months for me as I started training in January after a year out and was just coming back when last season was cut short in March due to Covid-19.
“It has been good and bad for me. On one hand it meant I wasn’t rushed back into playing before the season ended, but it also means I’ve had to wait.
“I try to be positive about it and the break has allowed me to focus on my training and getting myself back into shape for the new season and now my recovery is complete and I’m itching to get going this weekend.
“I know I’m not the only one in the squad who is desperate to get back playing. When the season was postponed a lot of boys here were upset and it has been such a long wait to get going again.”
Christie, whose side were third in the league when the last campaign ended, is confident his club can continue to challenge for honours this season, but expects tomorrow’s visitors Inverurie, who beat Turriff United 2-1 in their first round match on Tuesday, to be one of their rivals.
He said: “Locos are a top team who will be looking to challenge for the league and all the cups this season. They are a big club and they’ll have strengthened their team for the new season, so we know we’re in for a tough game.
“But we have got a good squad ourselves and we feel we’re in good shape. We’ve added a few new faces of our own and we’ve brought through some young lads from the youth team who have been excellent in the pre-season games.”
Inverurie boss Andy Low believes his side’s game against Turriff on Tuesday will stand them in good stead for their trip to the Broch tomorrow.
He said: “Bellslea is one of the toughest places to go in the Highland League and I have a lot of admiration for Fraserburgh and how they go about their business.
“We know we have to be competitive, but I’m sure our guys will have benefited from the game on Tuesday night and we are going up there with confidence.
“After such a long wait to get going, the games will be coming thick and fast, so it is important we get up to speed as quick as we can.”