PICTURES: Huntly manager Allan Hale pleased with debut goal for new signing Robbie Foster in the 3-0 Highland League win over Turriff United
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ALLAN Hale admits he is excited by new signing Robbie Foster after his debut goal for Huntly.
The Christie Park manager signed Foster from Fort William last week after the 20-year-old impressed him while playing for the Lochaber outfit.
After penning a two-and-a-half year deal with Huntly, Foster came off the bench against Turriff United on Monday and scored in a 3-0 home win.
The new boy's goal was assisted by trialist Andy Hunter, who Hale is also eager to recruit after impressing in two matches for the Black and Golds.
"Robbie is a player that really impressed us when we played Fort William at Christie Park earlier in the season," said Hale.
"I thought he really stood out, his composure on the ball and his decision-making was really positive and he was impacting on the game in a positive manner for Fort William.
"After that game, Stefan (Huntly assistant Laird) and I managed to keep an eye on him and got people to watch Fort William’s games.
"We’ve kept tabs on him, he has adapted really well to the Highland League and was scoring goals.
"We identified it as an area that we needed to strengthen and we felt it was best to act now, as we believe Robbie would have moved on to another club in the Highland League anyway.
"We tried to get a deal done and thankfully Fort William were really great to deal with in that respect.
"He has obviously made the best impact that he can. He was down seeing his family over Christmas and travelled back up on Boxing Day at the back of eight at night and he only met the team for the first time (on the matchday).
"It wasn’t easy circumstances, he doesn’t know us or how we play but he made a really positive impact when he came on.
"It was a composed finish for the goal and he’s a player that we are excited about and I’m sure he will do really well for us.
"He has a bit to go in terms of fitness as Fort William haven’t played many games recently.
"Just getting up to the intensity that we demand from our players and the work that we do without the ball, he will need a bit of time to get up to speed with that.
"We brought him in to play a prominent role in our team and I’m sure he will do that once he’s up to speed."
Former Inverurie Locos man Hunter netted on his Huntly debut in a first trial game against Lossiemouth, and again impressed in the Turriff match.
The striker has also featured on trial at Formartine United and Deveronvale - where he scored five goals in two games - and can play one more match for Huntly before deciding where his future lies.
"He’s talking to a few clubs and training with a few," Hale said. "He has been a trialist for two or three clubs now and we would love to sign him as he has made a positive impact in our last two games and provided us with a real focal point up front.
"He brings a lot of experience to the group and he communicates really well with the players around him.
"He is someone we feel can have a positive impact on our group and we would love for him to sign on at Huntly but Andy will rightly take his time and make a decision on what he feels is best for him. Hopefully it will be with us at Huntly."
Hale admitted his team made a sluggish start against Turriff and were fortunate not to go behind, before Elgin City loanee Joel MacBeath netted for the second game running to give the home team a slender advantage at the interval.
Gavin Elphinstone then scored his sixth of the campaign, before Foster sealed the win late on with his eighth of the season - seven with former club Fort.
"I thought Turriff started the game really brightly and had a couple of chances and perhaps should have taken the lead from some indecision from us defensively," Hale said.
"Defensively we started the game really casually but it was something we addressed at half time.
"I felt throughout the 90 minutes we always posed a threat going forward and created plenty chances, we had something like 20 shots in the game.
"We were far from our best but three goals, a clean sheet and three points a couple of days after Christmas, you will take that any time.
"That’s us now levelled the points total from the previous full season after winning on Monday. To do that halfway through the season is always pleasing, and shows that there is progress being made."