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Scottish Cup tie chance for Highland players to stake a claim for next season as they head to Edinburgh to face Watsonians

By Andrew Henderson

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Highland's Callum Boyd.Picture: Callum Mackay..
Highland's Callum Boyd.Picture: Callum Mackay..

Head coach Dave Carson wants to see Highland’s youngsters stake their claim for a starting position next season in the Scottish Cup.

Some time off after the end of their National One campaign has allowed Carson to begin looking towards the 2024/25 campaign already, but he does still have the small question of the Scottish Cup before being able to plan in earnest.

With an opening round trip to Watsonians on Saturday, Highland will have to make do without a number of senior players.

Callum Carson dislocated his ankle while training with the Caledonia Reds, while Rupeni Rokoduguni, Timoci Waqanibau Junior and Adriu Muritoki are all away on various army assignments.

A trip to Premiership outfit Marr in the quarter finals awaits the winners, and Carson wants to see youngsters make the most of the chance they will be given in the absence of those experienced heads.

“Our captain Scott Fraser said to the guys this week that we’re 240 minutes away from playing at Murrayfield,” Carson explained.

“We’re missing quite a few bodies, but that gives other players a chance. We’ll bring more young guys in and give them a taste of it.

“Dylan Monk has come off the bench for 10-minute spells a couple of times already. He’s only 19, but he’s 6’5, 18 stone and rapid.

“Young Fergus Riach too, he’s 18, and he came off the bench at Glasgow Accies for about 10 minutes and played really well for the Raptors again last week.

“They’re the future of the club, so let’s give them more of a taste before the end of the season to bring them on even further.

“Hopefully it will fire them up to push for a first-15 shirt next year.”

Highland and Inverness Craig Dunain’s women’s teams will also be in action in the National Shield on Sunday afternoon, with away games against Peterhead and West of Scotland respectively.

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