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Talks over potential merger between Highland League side Strathspey Thistle and North Caledonian League outfit Loch Ness off

By Andrew Henderson

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Planned talks over the potential merger between Strathspey Thistle and Loch Ness Thistle have been cancelled.

Jags chairman Donly McLeod had confirmed Loch Ness founder Shane Carling would be invited to a meeting in Grantown-on-Spey tonight to continue talks, following a Strathspey Thistle management committee meeting last week.

Planned talks over a proposed merger between Strathspey Thistle and Loch Ness have been cancelled.
Planned talks over a proposed merger between Strathspey Thistle and Loch Ness have been cancelled.

However, tonight's meeting has been cancelled and any plans for a merger appear to be off for the time being.

On paper, the move looked like it would benefit all parties.

Loch Ness won the 2022/23 North Caledonian League, but would struggle to find the finance to obtain their own ground – a pre-requisite for Scottish FA licensing to become eligible to play in the Highland League.

Strathspey, meanwhile, have struggled for results in the Highland League over the last two years, and could have welcomed the fresh impetus that came with a new manager and a new playing squad.

Plans have been shelved for the time being at least, though, meaning both teams are set to continue in their current states next season.

Strathspey, now under the guidance of caretaker manager Mike Rae, picked up their second win of the league campaign last weekend, beating Deveronvale 3-0.

Loch Ness made it into the semi finals of the North Caledonian Cup last Saturday, beating Golspie Sutherland 2-1, and remain in contention to retain their league title.

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