Academy 'moving in right direction' despite injury problems
MANAGER Tom McKenna says Wick Academy are moving in the right direction as they wait for five key players to make their way back from injury.
The Scorries are still seeking their first Highland League win of the campaign as they prepare to welcome Formartine United to Harmsworth Park on Saturday.
Three points looked to be in the bag in last weekend’s home game against Deveronvale as Academy recovered from the loss of an early goal to lead 2-1 going into stoppage time. Vale’s Colin Charlesworth had other ideas and his breakaway strike ensured a share of the points.
“It was a difficult one to take,” McKenna said. “You’ve just got to move on and try and take the positives from it.
“We try to learn from every game to put us in a stronger position.
“It was disappointing – three points would have been ideal. But we’re moving in the right direction regarding our fitness, our sharpness and our performance levels.”
Jack Halliday, Jack Henry, Marc Macgregor, Davie Allan and Joe Steven all missed out against Deveronvale and remain on the injury list.
Halliday is restricted to no more than light training, while Macgregor and Henry saw a physiotherapist at the start of this week.
The supporters pay their money and are entitled to their opinion but I think as a club everyone has to be patient until these boys are available.
“Marc is at least three weeks away and Jack Henry is going to be further,” McKenna said. “We’re just waiting for the report from the physio so we can assess it from there.
“It’s difficult. The supporters pay their money and are entitled to their opinion but I think as a club everyone has to be patient until these boys are available.
“The lads who have come in are doing well and it’s up to them to keep their jerseys until these guys are available, then there’s healthy competition for everyone.”
The Wick squad will be along similar lines to last weekend, with the possibility of further trialists being brought in.
“We will continue showing faith in the lads that are there,” McKenna said. “With every game they will gain in confidence and hopefully the continuity we’ve had in the last few weeks will stand us in good stead as well.”
Formartine have won one and lost one so far in the league this term.
Honours were even between the two clubs in 2018/19, with Academy winning 2-1 at North Lodge Park last August and the Pitmedden side snatching a 1-0 victory at Wick at the end of December thanks to Graeme Rodger’s last-gasp goal.
McKenna said: “They’re a very good team and they’re always going to be up there [in the title race] with the financial backing they’ve got and the ambitions they have.
“Last season we beat them at their place and I thought it was deserved, and up here it was again a very evenly matched game and they won it with the last kick.
“There wasn’t much between the teams there either. In my time with the club we’ve had close encounters with Formartine.”
Highland League fixtures for Saturday, August 10: Deveronvale v Huntly; Forres Mechanics v Brora Rangers; Fraserburgh v Clachnacuddin; Keith v Buckie Thistle; Lossiemouth v Rothes; Strathspey Thistle v Fort William; Turriff United v Inverurie Locos; Wick Academy v Formartine United.