Plans to play outstanding Aberdeenshire Cup ties from last season before start of next Highland League campaign
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KEITH are set to challenge for Aberdeenshire Cup glory before starting their next Highland League season.
Maroons co-manager Andy Roddie revealed how plans are in place for the Aberdeenshire FA to complete last season’s competition as a pre-cursor for the new campaign.
They are set to play their outstanding semi-final at home to Fraserburgh, which was never played when the campaign was closed down due to Covid-19.
Just six ties were played in last season’s tournament, with Keith receiving a first round bye then winning 3-1 at home to Huntly on December 2.
Roddie revealed: “We are probably looking at going back to pre-season about June 5 or 12 because we’ve got the big semi-final against Fraserburgh.
“It is scheduled just now for Wednesday July 14 with the final on the 17th, so we need to be geared up and ready to go for then.
“Fraserburgh have been one of the top teams over the last few seasons and it will be a good measure for us to see where we are in terms of how we fare in that game.
“The guys will be looking forward to it. Win that game and you’ve got a final on the Saturday, it would be a great start to the season if we can get a bit of silverware to the club.”
One quarter-final has yet to be played, with Buckie Thistle at home to Aberdeen.
The winners would then visit Formartine United in one semi with Keith and Fraserburgh in the other, possibly on July 14.
It is expected that fans would be allowed to attend these games as well as the final, which could be contested three days after the semi-finals.
Roddie and co-manager Tommy Wilson are beginning to shape up their squad for this season, beginning with some departures.
He said they had inherited too many players from previous boss Dean Donaldson’s squad and were keen to trim numbers back.
Callum Porteous has left the club while keeper David Dey has joined Turriff United. The Maroons’ second goalkeeper is on the transfer list along with midfielder Lee Scott and striker James Olumofe while defender Kieran Yeats became the latest player to be listed last week.
“The guys that have been there have done a good job over the years but probably like everything else people get a wee bit stale and need a fresh challenge,” Roddie added. “ We need to freshen things up a wee bit as well so that’s what we’ve decided to do.
“We are trimming the squad to be in line with the budget for the club so it is sustainable. We had something like 25 players which is far too much so we need to cut that down.
“We have spoken to the boys that we have put up for transfer. They are disappointed as we understand but that is part and parcel of our job to try and make the right decisions.”
A new keeper is top of Roddie and Wilson’s wanted list and the management duo were hopeful of confirming some fresh faces to their squad in the next week.