Shinty: Bute coach Fisher is up for new season’s challenge

Roddie Middleton, John McCallum and Leighton Reid in action during Bute Shinty Club's last pre-season friendly - a bounce game involving all the club's first and second team players.
Roddie Middleton, John McCallum and Leighton Reid in action during Bute Shinty Club's last pre-season friendly - a bounce game involving all the club's first and second team players.

Bute Shinty Club’s first team begin their 2013 campaign in Marine Harvest South Division One this Saturday, March 9, at home to Glenorchy.

Bute are a week behind all their rivals after being handed a free Saturday in the first round of fixtures due to the odd number of teams in the league.

Glenorchy began their league campaign with a 5-1 home win over Aberdour last Saturday, but coach Graham Fisher says the free week just means he and his team are all the more eager to get started.

“David McVey has been working the boys very hard in training and I’ve been really impressed with how they’ve played in our two friendlies,” he said.

“We did really well against Kilmory, although the ground that day wasn’t the best, and the bounce game we played a couple of weeks ago gave our defenders a real test.

“I’m pretty optimistic about the start of the season, even though Glenorchy have a game and a good win under their belts.”

Some weel-kent faces will be missing from Bute’s squad this Saturday - David Whitelaw and Gordon McMillan are both unavailable, while Robert Ferguson picked up an injury playing for the club’s second team at Ballachulish last Saturday.

But the widespread exodus which seemed a distinct possibility at the end of the 2012 season hasn’t happened, and the Bute senior squad has been bolstered by the promotion of several promising second team players.

“We’ve got a few young guys in the squad,” Fisher continued.

“Arran Dunn, Adam Stirling and hopefully Calum Hatton are ready to make the step up, and they need games at this level to develop.

“We’ll also have Jamesie Dunn in the squad on Saturday - he’s home on leave from the army - and although Hector Whitelaw will be playing for the second team this year, he’s agreed to step back in this week.

“We know the way we’re going to play on Saturday and I can’t wait to get started.”

* Meanwhile, the club has issued an invitation to past, present and potential future sponsors to come along to the Meadows on Saturday to watch the action against Glenorchy, and to enjoy pre-match and post-match hospitality at the clubhouse from 1.30pm onwards.

The game itself, which will be refereed by David Mitchell, gets under way at 2.30pm and we’ll be posting live score updates on Facebook and Twitter throughout the afternoon.