Orsten Gardner confirmed as new Newtonmore boss
NEW Newtonmore first team boss Orsten Gardner has said he is excited by the challenge ahead after being promoted from second team chief.
Gardner replaces PJ Mackintosh after seven very successful seasons at the helm. His appointment was confirmed at the club's AGM on Tuesday night.
Gardner told the Strathy: "I'm very happy and excited to get the job. Pre-season will start on January 6 and we will see who makes themselves available. But my ethos is very simple: if you want to play then players have to turn up for training."
He said that from soundings taken within the club, the signs were good. Gardner has also, not surprisingly, pledged to give some second team players the chance to shine.
"It has been difficult for some of them to break into the first team as they have been so strong in recent seasons but we have some very good second team players and they will get their chance.
"Players like Callum Stewart, who is an absolute machine if he puts the effort in, and I really hope he pushes for the firsts as he can ruin some Premier Division defences."
Friendlies have been lined up away to Glenurquhart, Caberfeidh, Oban, Beauly and at home to Fort William as the Blue and Whites aim to make a fast start to the season.
The first team captain for 2020 will be Michael Russell. Gardner will be replaced by Peter Ross as second team manager.
At the AGM, club president Norman Macarthur congratulated the teams and coaches at all levels for their commitment and success during the season.
He made special mention of the many volunteers who keep the club going. Club secretary Ian Gibson stood down after 14 years. He is being replaced by Stephen Gilligan, who is joined on the committee by Dave Galt and Dawn Cheyne Miller.
Among initiatives agreed will be a strict enforcement of a behind the barrier policy for fans and more respect on the pitch.
Mr Gibson said: "There was agreement that the standard of behaviour at a lot of grounds, including Newtonmore, was not good enough but that it is our responsibility to make sure our house is in order.
"The expectation is that coaches will substitute players not adhering to the club's values even if the referee has not taken action."