Inverurie Locos captain Neil McLean’s burning ambition is to at last win the Highland League title.
The 38-year-old signed a new contract last week to keep him with the Railwaymen until the summer of 2021.
McLean made his Locos debut in season 2004-05 and during his time with the Harlaw Park outfit has won the Highland League Cup twice and the Aberdeenshire Shield twice.
However, the Inverurie skipper has further ambitions he hopes to fulfil with the Highland League title at the top of the list.
During his time with the club, McLean has helped them finish second in the league on four occasions, but he has yet to earn that elusive winners’ medal.
He said: “I’d still love to win the league – that’s the big one that’s missing for me.
“When I first came in we were successful and there were five or six years where we challenged for the league every year.
“I think that’s what we should be doing as a club. You start every season and everybody wants to win the league and win cups.
“But it’s harder to do than just saying it. It’s all right us saying we should be there, but we need to go out and perform well enough to do it.”
McLean is happy to stay with Inverurie for a 17th season while he is still fit and part of manager Andy Low and assistant Steven Park’s plans.
He added: “I’ve had good chats with Andy Low, Steven Park and the committee.
“I feel fine and I feel fit and I’m happy at Inverurie.
“As long as the club still want to sign me and play me and I’m part of Andy’s plans then I’m happy to carry on.
“As long as the fitness is there then I’ll try to keep going.”
Inverurie are in contention to finish second again this season.
The Garioch outfit are nine points clear of third-placed Rothes.
However, the Speysiders, fourth-placed Buckie Thistle and Fraserburgh in fifth and sixth-placed Formartine United all have games in hand and could catch Locos.
With five games left, McLean hopes Inverurie can finish the season strongly and potentially hold on to second spot.
He said: “We don’t know what’s going to happen in terms of finishing second.
“I think it’s in Fraserburgh hands with the games they have in hand.
“Obviously they need to win games in hand, but it’s up to us to try to win our games and see if we can get into that second spot.
“There are benefits that come with finishing second as well, so hopefully we can get them.”
On Saturday, Inverurie drew 0-0 with Buckie at Victoria Park.
Locos spent much of the afternoon on the back foot but still managed to come away with a point.
Although McLean wasn’t happy with the performance, he felt the result was a positive one given the way they had played.
He said: “It was a tough one on Saturday. I think conditions played a part.
“On the whole, Buckie were probably the better team with the better chances and probably deserved more.
“In the last 15 or 20 minutes, we came more into the game and it’s a point away from home where in previous seasons we might have struggled to take something.
“We’re still disappointed not to win the game, but at least we got a point.”