New Buckie Thistle signings Ryan Fyffe and Lyall Keir have a bright future at Victoria Park says manager Graeme Stewart
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BUCKIE Thistle took the number of close season signings up to five with the capture of two players rated highly for the future.
So says manager Graeme Stewart, whose summer dealings also include 12 of last season’s squad penning long-term extensions.
Former Caley Thistle centre back Ryan Fyffe (20) is Stewart’s latest fresh face, along with former Aberdeen youngster Lyall Keir.
Midfielder Max Barry became the next in a long line of Jags to commit for another three seasons, with Stewart saying the player wants full-time football but is happy to continue his development at Victoria Park.
He is thrilled to bring in Fyffe, who was full-time at Inverness for four years and impressed on loan at Nairn County last season.
“We already have two of the best centre halves in the league and we have signed somebody who can rival these two,” Stewart said.
“Sam Morrison is suspended for the first two games of the season. Lewis Mackinnon came in and did brilliantly but he has also pulled up with injury because of his age. Hamish Munro is 36 as well and has been struggling with injuries so we had to strengthen in that area and to get someone of Ryan’s calibre is great.
“The fact that they kept him for four years shows how much they believed in him. He also got a player of the year award at Nairn so to get that at 20 is fantastic.
“It came out of the blue a wee bit and I have to give Lewis Mackinnon credit because he was speaking to his dad in Inverness and found out what was going on with his future. As soon as we got wind of it we jumped all over it. We knew how important a signing he would be.”
Keir (18) started his career with the Dons but on being released, took a step down to Dyce Junior where his talents caught the eye of the Buckie manager and his team.
“Quite a lot of Highland League clubs have been looking at Lyall,”Stewart said.
“He was at Aberdeen and was probably unfortunate that he didn’t go full-time with them and it knocked his confidence.
“We train with Dyce on a Monday and all the players rave about him all the time. I’ve got the likes of Andy MacAskill and Scott Adams talking highly about him so that shows to me how good a player he is.
“To get the deal over the line we had to agree to loan him back for a season, which is not a problem because he is probably a year away from being physically able to play in the Highland League – so it is a win-win situation.
“He’s an attacking flair player and I can see him making a huge contribution to us over the next three, four, five years.”
Buckie also signed Tom MacLennan and Cohen Ramsay from Nairn, as well as Joe McCabe returning after a year in London.