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Inverness Caledonian Thistle Development holding out hope of eliminating Highlands and Islands League Cup holders Sutherland

By Andrew Henderson

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Caley Thistle Development will be trying to take the knowledge that they’re going up against the defending Highlands and Islands League Cup winners and use that as motivation this weekend.

ICT Development v Buckie, Ferry Brae, North Kessock..ICT's Simone Coles opend the scoring...Picture: Callum Mackay..
ICT Development v Buckie, Ferry Brae, North Kessock..ICT's Simone Coles opend the scoring...Picture: Callum Mackay..

The Inverness squad will be making the journey up to Helmsdale to take on Sutherland, who burst on to the scene by beating Clach in last year’s final.

ICT were no strangers to success themselves in 2021, though, lifting the league title, and further success is right at the forefront of their players’ minds – despite the challenges of facing a team who have already been there and done that in the cup.

“I think it gives us a bit more going into it knowing that we’ll have to step up on the day,” captain Mel Macdonald said.

“They’re obviously going to step up and want their hands on the trophy again, and they’re going to do everything they can to get there.

“It’s something that every team wants.

“We all want to have our hands on silverware at the end of the season, but it might only be one team that wins both competitions.

“It is competitive, and it gives us a little bit of drive to get there.

“We all go in and hype each other up in the changing rooms beforehand, because it’s a big occasion.”

ICT Development are coming off the back of a league defeat to Buckie, but Macdonald feels there are plenty of positives they can take from that game going forward.

“The game against Buckie was obviously a bit disappointing,” she reasoned.

“They have improved vastly as a team compared to last season, so we might have underestimated them a bit going into the game. It’s just a case of regrouping and bouncing back and taking the rest of the games as they come.

“Head coach Iain Firth has got things planned, he’s watched bits back and noted things down during the game that he wants us to improve on.

“He thought that opening 45 minutes against Buckie was the best he’s seen us play for a while, so he hopes we can improve on that again, take that into other games and do it for the full 90 minutes.

“There are definitely positives to take from that game.”

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