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Nicolson pleased with having settled Jags squad


By Gavin Musgrove

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Strathspey Thistle manager Gordon Nicolson encourages his player during their away trip to Rothes at the start of February last year in what turned out to tbe one of the final games before the enforced lay-off. Picture: Daniel Forsyth..
Strathspey Thistle manager Gordon Nicolson encourages his player during their away trip to Rothes at the start of February last year in what turned out to tbe one of the final games before the enforced lay-off. Picture: Daniel Forsyth..

Jags boss Gordie Nicolson expects that it will be a quiet time on the Highland League front over the coming weeks.

He is not expected the pace to really start picking up until early summer following the decision to curtail the season due to the Covid difficulties.

Thistle in the end did not even get to play one league game.

But Nicolson is happy with the squad he has assembled with most of the team tied down on contracts which will see them through the 2021/22 season and in some cases beyond.

But for now the Grantown club is focussing on getting things in order behind the scenes.

Nicolson told the Strathy: "The recent confirmation of the end of the Highland League campaign has allowed us to press on with our off-season plans including carrying out work on the pitch at Seafield Park."

He does not foresee many ins or outs on the playing front at the Jags and expects that to be the case with all the other teams in the league.

"It is still very early days. With the best will in the world, we'd love to get our business done straight away but players will be waiting to see what happens."

The provisional date for the kick-off of the new season is July 24.

"We will look to come back for club pre-season training around June 5 so that we have six to seven weeks of good preparation."

With it being off-season, the emphasis is now on Thistle's players to keep fit or at least make sure they are ready to go when the pre-season begins.

Nicolson is hoping to step up the number of pre-season games given the lack of competitive match action his players have been denied by the pandemic.

"We want to have a longer pre-season than would normally be the case which will allow us to play more friendly matches purely because of the lack of football the players have had over the past year.

"As a club, we will begin to firm up our pre-season plans over the next few weeks.

"Then after that we will start to look at getting a few bits of business done with incomings and outgoings. Every season is the same, there are always one or two players who move on and one or two new faces come in."

But on the whole, Nicolson is pleased that he is leading a settled squad. "We have the bulk of the players are tied down certainly for next season and some of them for the season after that.

"In the past it seems that there were a lot of players whose contracts expired around the same time.

"But we now have them on longer contracts and have moved earlier to get them tied up so we are in good shape at this point in time.

"There are a few irons in the fire that we will be working on but it is way too early to say anything on these."


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