Deveronvale frustrated at second blank week
DEVERONVALE assistant boss Craig Stewart hopes his team will not be ring-rusty after having to endure a second consecutive blank weekend on the fixture front.
Vale's visit to Clach on Saturday was postponed due to the heavy weekend rain, and the week before they were the odd team out in the 17-team league and did not have a fixture.
It means Stewart and manager Steve Dolan take their squad to Rothes on Saturday having not kicked a ball competitively since the middle of August.
"It's OK having a free week and the players enjoyed that, but when it goes into a second week with the game called off, it is frustrating," said Stewart.
"Looking on the positive side of it, it gives you an opportunity to get a couple of boys back properly fit. Michael Dunn and Jody Munro were injured and it has given them that extra time to get back."
Courtney Cooper is back onshore – he would have been available for Clach – and both Harry Noble and Kyle Willox recently returned from injury. Kevin Adams is still a couple of weeks away, though he has resumed training after a spell out with a hamstring pull. Stewart said: "He has started jogging and stretching but we need to watch ourselves with him.
"Given his history injury-wise, we have to make sure he's right."
Saturday's hosts Rothes recently parted company with manager Steven MacDonald, whose assistant Gordon Connelly is expected to be at the helm until a fresh appointment is made.
The Speysiders were also idle last Saturday and keen to get back into action.
"Rothes have spent a lot of money last and this season.
"They will be looking for the next manager to take them to the next level," said Stewart.
"They are a decent side with the players they've been able to bring in.
"We will just try and concentrate on ourselves and we had a good result there last year.
"We need to be going to places like Rothes and getting results there, regardless of the players they've brought in."
Meanwhile, Deveronvale will he heading to Edinburgh in the Scottish Cup this season, as Sunday’s first-round draw paired them with Lowland League side Spartans.
Vale won in the capital in December 2001, defeating Spartans 2-1 in a replay after a 0-0 draw at Princess Royal park with boss Dolan in the Banff side's line-up that day.
"We maybe underestimated Stirling Uni last year and we came unstuck," Stewart said.
"But we had a good result against Bonnyrigg as well, so it's not a case of this being a tie we are fearing."
"It's one we feel we can definitely get a result and get through, but we will definitely need everybody to bring their 'A' game."