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Sharp return for manager lifts Covid hit Nairn County


By Alasdair Fraser

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RONNIE Sharp made a surprise return to the Nairn County training ground less than a month after suffering a heart attack.

Nairn County v Brora Rangers, Menzies Distribution North Scotland Cup, Station Park, Nairn Nairn Manager Ronnie Sharp. Picture: Callum Mackay. Image No.
Nairn County v Brora Rangers, Menzies Distribution North Scotland Cup, Station Park, Nairn Nairn Manager Ronnie Sharp. Picture: Callum Mackay. Image No.

Hopes are high that the Station Park boss will now take his usual place in the technical area for the Highland League opener at Keith on July 24.

Nairn were forced to suspend training and cancel home friendlies against Jeanfield Swifts (Saturday) and Elgin City (Tuesday) after four people connected to the club tested positive for Covid-19.

Nine others are also self-isolating, although Nairn officials are understood to be seeking clarification over certain inconsistencies in the rules.

The setback, though, came after Sharp’s return. He was not one of the individuals affected and was fit enough to take sessions with the players.

Assistant manager Michael Rae and reserves coach Brian Macleod had agreed to take charge of the team for however long it took Sharp to return.

Chairman Donald Matheson said: “Ronnie is doing fine and was back at training before our Covid situation emerged.

“He’s looking well and back involved. He was dealing with half of the team for different drills while the other coaches took the other half.

“Literally the first week the players were back, Ronnie actually stuck his nose in for a look at them. You’re thinking ‘that’s typical, you can’t keep the man away!’

“We’re just delighted he’s back fully involved now and he will be in the dug-out for our opening match, all going well.

“If not, I have full faith in Mike and Brian, but it’s just great to have Ronnie back with us.”

Matheson’s first concern following the Covid outbreak was for the health of those affected, but stressed all SFA and Scottish Government protocols had been carefully followed by Nairn.

He added: “The players want to play and we want them to play. We’ve lost two home friendlies because of this.

“Their health is the most important thing and, thankfully, the ones who have caught Covid are fine at the moment, asymptomatic, but they’re frustrated.”


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