Huntly manager Allan Hale has already brought Stuart Taylor and Cammy Bowden to Christie Park this summer and is lining up another established Highland League name
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HUNTLY are back in football training, with manager Allan Hale keen to bring in an established midfielder as his next signing.
Hale finally met his Christie Park squad face-to-face on Tuesday night for the first time since taking on the job nearly three months ago, when he held his first pre-season session.
It included Alex Thoirs, Reece McKeown and Logan Johnstone who have all signed extended deals to keep them at the club until the summer of 2024.
The manager is also on the brink of bringing in a third, as yet unnamed new signing of the summer, to add to centre half Cammy Bowden and attacker Stuart Taylor.
Huntly have been given a start date for their Highland League campaign – barring any Covid-19 issues – ofSaturday, October 17.
They will contest eight home and eight away league fixtures in the shortened campaign, and take part in a new Highland League Cup group format as part of a group of five or six clubs.
Hale is thrilled that the wait is over and he can finally work with his new squad.
“It feels like two years ago since I took the job, it’s been that long,” he told the Express.
“I’ve been just sitting idle really, waiting for things to happen.
“I’m sure I speak for every manager across all levels that we are now in the position where we are able to train again and hopefully it’ll not be too long before we start playing games.”
Hale expects to name a fresh face to the squad next week.
He said: “We’ve got two signings over the line who are really strong Highland League players with good pedigrees behind them.
“The one we will hopefully get over the line soon, he’s got a good pedigree as well within the league and will be familiar to supporters.”
On resigning Thoirs, McKeown and Johnstone, he added: “What’s important more so within the current times is that the club’s got stability. The only way we can add to that is by having a core group of players that we can hopefully have in the long term.
With the three players agreeing these extensions, it gives us the platform to have that stability within the squad and just look to add as opposed to continually having a turnover that there’s maybe been in the last few seasons.
“Stability is always the first step to having a consistency within our performances.
“I’m therefore delighted to get this done and it’s pleasing that they’ve committed for as long as they have.”
Hale is happy with the half league season format unveiled by the Highland League on Saturday.
“I don’t have any real complaints about it,” he added.
“It would have been very difficult to get a full league campaign with the cups as well.
“You’ve got to consider potential play-offs and the weather that affects the Highland League, so I think all those things have been taken into consideration.
“It’s simply a case of everyone getting back to football.”