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Future is looking good for Halkirk United, says McElroy


By Alan Hendry

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Ryan Sutherland and Cameron Montgomery in action in a Halkirk United v Thurso derby in the North Caledonian League during the 2019/20 season which has now been declared null and void. Picture: James Gunn
Ryan Sutherland and Cameron Montgomery in action in a Halkirk United v Thurso derby in the North Caledonian League during the 2019/20 season which has now been declared null and void. Picture: James Gunn

Ewan McElroy says the future looks bright for Halkirk United with so many promising young players beginning to emerge.

McElroy was delighted with the progress he saw after being appointed as manager of the North Caledonian League club in the early part of 2019/20. Before the league was suspended – and subsequently declared null and void – the Anglers were sixth in the very competitive nine-team division, with 17 points from 15 games.

“I was delighted with the boys last year and I couldn’t have asked much more of them," McElroy said.

“The support I had behind the scenes in particular was terrific. I thoroughly enjoyed it – a lot more than I thought I would, to be honest, and that might be down to the help and support of people in the background.

"We signed seven or eight new players and we’ll be looking for them to push on. I would say the foundations are slowly but surely looking good.”

McElroy, who combines the Halkirk role with managing High Ormlie Hotspur in the Caithness summer league (which is currently suspended), had no complaints about the North Caley clubs' "null and void" vote at the weekend.

“I think the majority of teams were kind of expecting it," he said. "It’s difficult circumstances for everyone involved. There were a few teams still in with a shout of maybe challenging for the top.

"We weren’t surprised. In all honesty it doesn’t impact us as much as other teams.

"Some might feel hard done by, but we just need to move on from it and look forward to whatever happens next.”

When the North Caledonian League does resume, it could be in an expanded format as several clubs have expressed an interest in joining.

“There’s talk of maybe three or four new teams, and I did read about the fifth or sixth tier system that may or may not happen in years to come, but I try and stay out of it and just concentrate on training the boys and picking the team," McElroy said.

"Quite similar to my summer team, we’re got a plethora of young boys – the bulk of the squad are 21 or younger – so the future looks good. But I think it’ll certainly take a few years to get where we want to be with regard to winter football."



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