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Coach warns tough season lies ahead for Greens


By Gordon Calder


THE Greens are bracing themselves for a tough campaign as their National League Three fixtures get under way with a home game against Ardrossan on Saturday.

Caithness coach George Sutherland admits the Millbank club are struggling for players and may have to turn to "coaches, spectators and possibly the bus driver" as they embark on the new season.

Several players are injured – including club captain Marc Anderson, who is out with a broken ankle and will be unavailable for a number of weeks. There is also a lack of senior players generally.

"We will have a couple of guys from overseas shortly," Sutherland said. "Scott Webster is coming from New Zealand, where he has been living for the past couple of years, and we also have Zac Richardson coming from Australia.

Hamish Coghill makes a tackle for the Greens in a defeat to Ardrossan last season. Picture: James Gunn
Hamish Coghill makes a tackle for the Greens in a defeat to Ardrossan last season. Picture: James Gunn

"Scott should be here on Sunday and Zac next Thursday but they will not be available this week. The way things are, we will need all hands on deck – even coaches, spectators and possibly the bus driver."

A lack of recruitment and retention of players as well as younger ones coming through the ranks has put the club in a difficult position.

"I think it is going to be a tough season all round," Sutherland said. "We will try our best. The way the numbers are shaping up does not look great, but we will see how it goes.

We are still looking for players and need more youngsters playing the game.

"We have to get more youngsters playing rugby and need both high schools [Thurso and Wick] to support the game.

"Promoting the sport is our biggest challenge at the moment. I want the team to enjoy their rugby and the club but we are still looking for players and need more youngsters playing the game."

Caithness finished in seventh place in their first season in National Three League in 2018/19 and Sutherland would be delighted if the team could repeat that this time around.

He pointed that it costs around £20,000 a year in travel and equipment to compete in the league and expects changes to be made to the set-up next season.



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