Highland Seconds put progress of the club first
NATHAN McLaughlan, the Highland 2nd XV’s player-coach, could be toasting silverware success as early as this weekend if results go his way.
If not, it seems likely any resistance from teams below in Caledonia North Two will only be delaying the inevitable.
But while a league championship success would be deeply satisfying for McLaughlan, fellow coaches and players alike, it is never the endgame. Development is all for ambitious Highland below first team level.
The Canal Park second string will clinch the title if they secure a five-point home victory over Banff and second-placed Aberdeenshire fail to take four points away to North Police Scotland.
What will mean more to McLaughlan than medals and trophy presentations is the knowledge that another batch of Highland players has learned, improved and matured while, in some cases, nudging themselves to the brink of regular first team action.
“We had games early this season that were tough,” he said.
“We had a few young guys coming into the squad who were, understandably, adjusting to senior rugby.
" While quite a lot of our players were absent due to injury or for first team call-ups.
“That’s always going to be part of how a seconds team operates.
“We really had to dig out a few results in early season and that’s stood us in good stead as the campaign has progressed.
“As a squad, we’ve really improved as the season has gone on. Regardless of results at the moment, when we’ve got the ball in our hands, we’re playing some really good stuff.”