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One Highland League match in six weeks for title contenders Buckie Thistle with doubts hanging over Saturday's top-of-the-table clash against Fraserburgh

By Craig Christie

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BUCKIE Thistle’s visit to Highland League leaders Fraserburgh would be Saturday’s match of the day - but already is in some doubt.

Graeme Stewart, manager of Buckie Thistle FC...Picture: Daniel Forsyth..
Graeme Stewart, manager of Buckie Thistle FC...Picture: Daniel Forsyth..

Jags’ last two league games against Deveronvale and Rothes were called off because of Covid issues in the Victoria Park club’s squad, and the picture is not much clearer for manager Graeme Stewart this week.

“It’s been a nightmare for the team and a few boys are affected,” he said. “It has gone a bit crazy.

Read more: Latest postponement news from the Highland League.

“You think you are past it then two boys get it, they’ve sat beside a couple of other boys who are then close contacts and all of a sudden you have four or five boys out.

“That is the game off if you already only had a squad of 15 or 16 and you need 13 players.

“We are probably fifty-fifty for this game being on this Saturday so we need to wait and see a few things. It’s not ideal but you have to get on with it."

Jags have seen five matches postponed in the past month.

The weather put paid to league clashes against Inverurie Locos and Keith in December along with the Aberdeenshire Shield semi against Baks o' Dee, whicg was eventually played on December 21 - Buckie's last competitive outing.

Training has also been an issue for Stewart and his squad, with the boss forced to call off a planned session in midweek.

“We only had eight boys. It isn’t just Covid, we have four or five injuries and boys away so I’m not going to have a session with eight people.

“They can do a session at home and get their fitness and we will either be playing on Saturday, hopefully, or we will be doing some sort of training. We just need to get back to it.

“We haven’t trained in two and a half weeks but you look at the positives. It gives boys a chance to come back to fitness and I am trying to look at those positives.

“It is just the world we live in and there’s no point in moaning about it, people are in a much worse position than us.

“Until the virus is under control it’s something we need to deal with daily.

“It’s Highland League football, we’ve had it in the past with bad weather and you’ve ended up playing a month past the season.

“It will mean a lot of midweek games, but I like midweek games, keep them coming, I prefer it to training to be honest.”

Stewart said striker Kyle MacLeod will return to training soon and could be back playing by the end of the month.

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