July 6 Important milestone tonight with our first pre-season friendly and at home on our pitch, which had extensive work done over the summer, against a full strength Elgin City FC. We gave a good account of ourselves but went down 2-1 to a goal in the 89th minute. James McShane scored our goal and we received compliments on how the pitch played. No spectators were allowed and social distancing was observed.
July 7 All players and team management being tested three times a week through the lateral flow system. The club announced the season ticket prices for the new season. £100 for adults and £50 for concessions (60+ and under 12). Supervised under 12s are free.
July 8 Visited SJFA side Dufftown, some say the whisky capital of the world, for our second friendly. Jags 3 up on 30 minutes and playing well and in what turned out to be an interesting and feisty game which finished in the dark and the rain at 5-5.
July 9 Another road trip this time to SJFA North Region division 2 side Islavale FC from Keith. Another competitive game which finished 3-2 to the Jags. Game time important at this time of the pre-season.
July 13 A beautiful summer evening at Mackessack Park, Rothes was the setting for another friendly. The Jags played well but went down 2-1. James McShane scored our goal on 87 minutes from a free kick. We played five triallists through the ninety minutes. Rothes were able to field two different sides.
July 17 Another warm sunny day but with strong gusts of wind saw The Jags play their last friendly before the season opens on July 24 with a home game with Forres Mechanics. In another competitive game the Jags came out winners through a Jake Thompson first half goal. Charlie and his team now spend the week preparing the players for the season opener at Christie Park, Huntly.
July 20 The club now has seventeen signed players for the new season with Stephen Rennie, Jordan Wardrope, Jake Thomson and Kris Duncan all signing for this season. We expect further additions to the squad. Jake is with us on loan from Elgin City for the whole of this season. Stephen was with Caley Thistle from 2008 to 2017 and was with us last season. Jordan has played with us before and also had two seasons with Forres Mechanics. Kris is a very experienced forward having played with a number of Highland League clubs and has also joined the coaching staff.
July 22 Notified by NOSFA Secretary that Golspie Sutherland have withdrawn from the North of Scotland Cup tie with us at Seafield Park on Wednesday July28 because of Covid-19. The tie is awarded to us which means we visit Inverness Clachnacuddin on Wednesday August 18. Time TBC.
July 24 The big day. A beautiful summer’s day with blue sky. 24 degree temperature and expectancy, and we were not disappointed. The Jags led after 16 minutes thanks to a superb strike from twenty yards by Kieran Chalmers. The team settled well as the game went on but were disappointed to concede the equaliser right at the start of the second half. The heat and playing on a rock hard pitch didn’t help the flow and at the end a draw was a good result.
July 26 Today is also a milestone for the club with our weekly lottery going online via the club website. Our paper lottery for Grantown, Carrbridge, Aviemore and Kinguissie remains unchanged. The lottery is our biggest source of income so please participate as every little helps. First draw with online contribution will be August 1 and for every week after that.
July 27 Fort William will play all their Highland League and Highland League Cup matches away from home this season as Claggan Park is currently unplayable. After a league inspection on Thursday at the ground found it not fit and in need of immediate work. An emergency meeting on Sunday of the League Management Committee agreed of the Fort having to play away. The league clubs have offered to pass on the travel costs they would normally have to pay for a fixture at Claggan Park and Fort William have started a crowd funder to assist with costs.
July 28 Announced today the passing of Garry Davies the Secretary of Rothes FC. We were speaking a couple of weeks ago at our friendly fixture in Rothes and he has been a help to me over the last couple of seasons which I appreciated. Shocked and saddened.
July 30 Donate-a-Ticket announced that this would be their last weekend as a fund raiser. Since the first Covid-related disruption in March 2020 they have sold 40,000 virtual tickets and raised £330,000 for over one hundred and twenty league clubs. For those Highland League clubs that took part the total raised for them was £32906. All of this at no charge.
July 31 Today saw the return of league football to Seafield Park with the visitors being Wick Academy. Our last league game was on March 7 2020. The Jags and Wick fought out a very entertaining 3-3 draw. Our goals from Craig MacKenzie, Jake Thomson and a superb freekick from Kieran Chalmers. A good performance and a deserved point against a strong side.