Groats bandwagon rolls on to yet another trophy
The Wick Groats bandwagon kept rolling on last Saturday as they defeated a spirited Staxigoe United side to lift the David Allan Shield.
Goals in the first quarter of an hour from Ryan Campbell and Ben Sinclair gave them a flying start and, although Staxigoe pulled one back via Kyle Henderson, nothing would be stopping Groats getting their hands on yet another piece of silverware.
Having already won the league title, the Colin Macleod Memorial Cup, the Eain Mackintosh Trophy and now the David Allan Shield, victory in Saturday's Highland Amateur Cup final against Avoch would bring them another grand slam to go with the one they pulled off four years ago.
Boss Kevin Anderson is astonished at how well things have gone for his trophy-collecting team.
"It has been an unbelievable season for us," he said. "I know we've done this before with the 2015 grand slam – but if anyone had told me at the start of the season that we would go on to achieve what we've done so far, I would have said to them 'not a chance'.
"It has been brilliant, and regardless of how Saturday goes against Avoch it's a fantastic season.
"When you play the likes of Pentland United and Staxigoe – two very good sides – so many times during the summer, you'd expect one or two games to go against you. But to not lose one is incredible.
"Ryan and Ben produced some excellent finishes to put us 2-0 up. To be honest, every time we attacked, we looked like we could score and we were perhaps unlucky not to get one or two more.
"Staxigoe came back at us in the second half. They had more of the ball and got a goal back – although we should have really killed the game off by converting one of the breakaways we had when they were pushing more men forward to try and get an equaliser.
If anyone had told me at the start of the season that we would go on to achieve what we've done so far, I would have said 'not a chance'.
"But we held on and I cannot speak highly enough of the players, the coaches and the committee who have been brilliant off the field with their support of us."
But what about the man at the helm himself? The legendary Brian Clough once said in an interview where he praised his Forest team of the late 1970s for working as a team and bonding so well: "Where did I come into it? I'll let you work that out".
Anderson takes a similar approach when discussing his own role in Groats' success.
He added: "Listen, I'm just the guy who tries to keep 18 very good footballers happy.
"I'm fortunate to have such a strong squad as any of them could waltz into the first 11. I try to be fair to all of them and they respect that.
"I'll give someone a chance and they're on board with the philosophy of 'if you play well, you'll stay in the team – if not, and your replacement does, you'll have to wait your turn'.
"I also try not to single anyone out, regardless of the result. We win as a team, draw as a team and lose as a team – no matter how well or badly an individual player has performed. The squad we have buy into that."