We have deliberately kept our website/social media output to a minimum of late, partly because all our contributors need a break but also Ranald has been building and developing a new website which we hope will be up and running for the new season. I will not steal Ranald’s thunder, but the presentation he gave the Board recently was very encouraging and will allow much more inter-activity, including hospitality booking and merchandise purchasing. We are going to be losing Ranald and Ruth from the village, but he will still be looking after our website from Perth, and for this we are most grateful.
Despite the news interregnum there has been feverish activity going on “behind the scenes” and I am very grateful to everybody that has been busy with their individual projects with the aim of improving our club for everybody.
So where do I start? - Let’s kick off with the ground. Thanks to the Brora Rangers Improvement Trust (BRIT), safety nets have been erected behind each goal. I have for several years since joining the board at Brora, been very worried about a potential accident at the “tea window” with the ball hitting supporters queuing for their half-time pie and bovril. The erection of these nets will be a welcome addition to the clubs safety and welfare policy.
Not withstanding the above tremendous effort by BRIT, they have not rested on their laurels and have also built a tarmac walkway between the Club Shop and the enclosure. This will aid and assist our differently abled supporters as well as supporters in general especially as the Autumn and Winter closes in on us. Visually both these projects will change the vista of the ground as well as aid the comfort of our supporters.
Staying with the ground I’m delighted to report that we have also managed to complete/finish the toilet blocks adjacent to the entry gate, a project which was long overdue.
Within the next few weeks, we will commence the annual painting refresh, and general ground maintenance to ensure that the ground looks spik & span for the start of our new season.
For those of you that can’t live without your mobile phones/tablets we have installed a new dedicated broadband hub into the main stand so supporters and press reporters can stay very much in touch with what’s going on around other grounds and file their reports in a timeous manner.
Much work on the playing surface has been completed ( and still continues), and as always Sandy has put in countless hours tending his hallowed turf. We have also heavily sanded the pitch with the aim to improve drainage as the season progresses. Truth be told, we could really do with some rain to help promote new grass growth, as the current temperatures are not helping at all.
The club are absolutely delighted that local firm Edward Mackay Contractors will be taking over the mantle of principal main shirt sponsor in what is a two year sponsorship deal. We shall be featuring this sponsorship in much more detail but for now, needless to say the club are thrilled that they are on board and we look forward to carrying their corporate branding proudly on our shirts, website and around the ground
Brora Rangers are 140 years old during this coming season and to mark such a significant milestone our away kit for the coming season will be the very first kit that Brora Rangers took to the field in back in 1878,gold and black hoops, black shorts and black socks. The shirts will carry also a 140 years embroidered motif to acknowledge such a momentous occasion. This will be a bespoke manufacture by Joma especially for Brora Rangers and will be purely a limited addition due to production run pressures. I would suggest that anyone wanting one, and why wouldn’t you, please contact either Rossy or myself. There will only be ONE production run so if it’s 50 or 500 that will be that, so again please don’t miss the boat.
The final art work will be approved by the club and our sponsor very shortly and the production run numbers set. As soon as I have the final proof I will post it on our website ( during the next week), but trust me it looks exceedingly smart so get your orders in NOW.
Our home kit will this year be red shirts, red shorts and red socks with our sponsors name in white. Really smart too!
Our new manager Steven Mackay has been busy putting in place the systems and standards which he wishes for the coming season. Training started a few weeks ago with a real emphasis on fitness and performance tracking. Steven has continued his search for an Assistant Manager and a suitable candidate has been identified. A few contract details need to be completed but it is hoped that a formal announcement can be made shortly.
On the player front, again Steven has been working very hard to identify players that will add value and depth to his squad. Steven is determined to sign only players who share his playing philosophy and can fulfil a role for the club. I think it is fair to say that we will have a smaller but tighter squad this coming season.
I’m pleased also that we will again be running 3 teams beneath our A Team. We will compete in the U20, U17 and U15 leagues as well as moving forward with the vibrant ladies section.
It’s unfortunate that our friends from Ross County and Inverness Caledonian Thistle will not be visiting us for a preseason fixture, but their calendars just didn’t work for them this year. We are however delighted to be playing in the annual Kelty Hearts Tournament on the weekend of 21st/22nd of July. We shall be playing Clydebank at 4pm on the Saturday and either Kelty or Thornton on the Sunday. These fixtures are exactly what we will need in preparation for our first Breedon Highland League fixture against our derby rivals Wick Academy the following Saturday.
We are gearing up for a busy year for our matchday hospitality. Russell and Dennis have been working hard promoting our excellent fayre and packages, and with the new website allowing on line booking we are confident that we will be attracting plenty of new visitors to Dudgeon Park. What better way to kick off the hospitality experience than against Wick Academy!
Our admission prices and various season ticket packages have now been finalised including early bird deals, and these will appear on the website very shortly.
In concluding this brief overview, I would thank everybody who has been down at the ground working to deliver the improvements. Likewise those who have been busy on the never ending cycle of fundraising, who also play such an important role in the club.