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Outgoing boss tips Fort William to rise up from bottom spot


By Alan Hendry


Keeper Sean McCarthy and Jonah Martens combine to block a shot from Fort William's Jack Brown. Picture: Mel Roger
Keeper Sean McCarthy and Jonah Martens combine to block a shot from Fort William's Jack Brown. Picture: Mel Roger

Outgoing manager Russell MacMorran says he is convinced Fort William will climb away from bottom spot in the Highland League by the end of this season.

Fort’s struggles in recent years have been well documented. This campaign has seen a marked upturn in their fortunes, helped by an influx of youth players on loan from Caley Thistle, although they are again propping up the table after one win from their opening 13 fixtures.

Saturday’s 4-1 defeat at Harmsworth Park was the last game in charge for MacMorran, who is taking a break from football management. He is signed off from his job as a road policing officer after being diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

“I’m disappointed for the lads,” MacMorran said. “It’s a long trip and everybody wanted to finish on a high. It just wasn’t to be today.

“We’ve got no excuses. Wick got two goals within three minutes against the run of play so we were always on the back foot.

“At the end of the day, fair play to Wick. They took their chances and – pardon the pun – they gave us an uphill challenge.

“But the guys showed their determination, they plugged away and they played some really nice football.

“The lads need to realise they can’t have long periods of possession and not actually do anything with it.

“Saying that, you’ve got to take the positives – and the positives today were that we created a lot of chances and actually it was a decent game.

“Wick are always a good side. If you let them go ahead then they hold on to that. That’s how they grind out some really good results against some really good teams.

The football has been a fantastic thing for me, helping me in my recovery with PTSD.

“The boys are young and learning and that’s another experience for them.”

“Things haven’t gone the way that we would want, but it would be naive of people to write the lads off just now. We’ve still got seven games in hand and in every game they’re learning – you can see it.

“There is no doubt in my mind that it’ll click for the guys and it’ll hopefully work out. I do believe that they will finish off the bottom of the table.”

MacMorran leaves his role as manager with Fort in a much healthier position than they were in season 2018/19, when they finished with no wins, a goal difference of minus 224 and a negative points tally.

“It has been a massive turnaround for the club,” he said.

“The football has been a fantastic thing for me, helping me in my recovery with PTSD.

“I can’t thank the club and the guys enough. But it’s now at that point where I need to take that step back and it’s a new chapter in recovery.

“I won’t be too far away and I’m sure at some point I’ll be back helping out. I will certainly be keeping an eye on the lads.”



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