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Maclean: Nairn County should be aiming to break into Highland League elite

By Alasdair Fraser

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Callum Maclean believes Nairn County should be aiming to storm the Highland League’s top six this season.

The Station Park defensive stalwart is confident his team can attack the table’s upper placings if their young, talented and energetic group shows maturity.

In season 2019/20, the Wee County finished eighth but held one or more games in hand on all of the teams above them when the pandemic struck.

Viewing last season’s swiftly-terminated campaign as a non-event, Maclean is relishing the prospect of normality approaching his seventh season with Nairn.

Callum Maclean (top) tussles with a Turriff United opponent. The experienced defender is relishing the season ahead.
Callum Maclean (top) tussles with a Turriff United opponent. The experienced defender is relishing the season ahead.

The 29-year-old said: “At the start of every campaign, we look to improve on the year before. Last season doesn’t really count as we had only three games, but we want to build on the season before – and I feel we should be looking at top six.

“I don’t see why not given the potential we have, although Brechin City joining the league will be interesting. We don’t know whether they will be up there battling with Brora or somewhere in mid-table.

“I’ve seen a couple of their pre-season results and they seem to be doing okay.

“It could be them and Brora Rangers who are out front, but I’m optimistic we can challenge. In any one-off, we can compete. With young players, we have to be wary of inconsistency, but if we can start well and build momentum there’s no reason we can’t be up there.”

Nairn retain vast experience in the likes of veteran Glenn Main, with Maclean joking that the ‘oldie’ tag has crept up on him unexpectedly of late.

While the squad is young, it is not necessarily callow.

He added: “We’ve lost Gordy McNab and Adam Naismith, but there’s a lot of youth and energy about us, as well as ability.

“It is the job of me and one or two older lads to bring them on, but some, like Max Ewan – who is only 21 – have played three or four seasons and are very game-mature for their age.”

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