Aberdeen Grammar have the opportunity to raise their profile tomorrow when they bid to win the National League Cup at Stirling.
They meet northern derby rivals Highland, in a final described by club chairman Gordon Thomson as the perfect occasion to showcase the talent at Rubislaw.
Thomson said: “This is a great chance to put ourselves in the shop window, promoting the club in a bid to attract players to a forward-thinking, ambitious set-up.
“We are on a rich seam of form having just won a place in next season’s Premiership, and looking to the future.”
Head coach Ali O’Connor was equally bullish about the future, but added: “While it would be a great way to round off the season, we won’t be writing off Highland ,who come into this game on the back of a second consecutive promotion and are now in National League 1.
“They have also beaten two teams from National League 1 on the way to the final.
“But we have a full-strength side, and if our pack can rise to the occasion once again, we should be able to do the business.”
Forwards coach Iain Stanger promised his pack would be up to the mark.
He said: “Although I started my rugby career at Highland in 1987 my loyalties lie with Grammar – in particular our on-fire back row of Chris Jollands, Greig Ryan and Alec Dravitski, the latter who will be playing his last game for the club before he goes back to New Zealand.”
Dravitski, pictured, is disappointed to be leaving the club and said: “I have enjoyed playing my rugby in Aberdeen with a fine bunch of guys, who have the potential to go much further in the Scottish club game.
“But the first thing is to win this game. It will be a tough test.”
Captain and stand-off Sam Knudson will have the task of using the quality ball his forwards are capable of winning, while releasing the pace in his potent back three of Bryn Perrott, Nat Coe and Doug Russell.
He said: “We have got to take the game to them, especially as the last time we met Highland we lost in the first round of this competition last season.
“It would be great to bring some silverware back to Aberdeen after a very good fourth in the league. It’s a huge day for both clubs.”
Highland have their own stand-outs, including full-back Rupeni Rokoduguni.
Centre and co-captain Rory Cross is also an organiser of the highest order, while second rows Oscar Baird and Stuart MacDonald will be sure to give Ewan Stewart and Robin Cessford tough tests.
Add the careful planning and tactical awareness of head coach Dave Carson, one of the most astute organisers in the club game, and you have all the ingredients for a first-class final and an opportunity for both teams to put the North and North-east on the Scottish rugby map.