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Which Clubs in the Highland League in Five Seasons' Time?


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4 hours ago, TheScarf said:

Yep, depending on the League Two/HL/LL play off final result, the HL next season could have Fraserburgh, Buckie, Brora, BOD and Rothes in it.  Brechin will have to get their recruitment absolutely perfect this summer to win it over that lot.  Guys like Scott Barbour, Sam Urquhart and Jordan Macrae are better strikers than anything Brechin have, and they aren't going anywhere.

Buckie won the 16/17 league with the same points as Brechin have now, with Lossie away on Saturday still to come. They've been a tad unlucky with Fraserburgh finally finding consistency and Buckie being on a record breaking winning run. 

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2 minutes ago, welshbairn said:

Buckie won the 16/17 league with the same points as Brechin have now, with Lossie away on Saturday still to come. They've been a tad unlucky with Fraserburgh finally finding consistency and Buckie being on a record breaking winning run. 

The standard is clearly higher than 5 years ago.  I don't think Buckie's points in 2017 is of much relevance here.

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11 minutes ago, TheScarf said:

The standard is clearly higher than 5 years ago.  I don't think Buckie's points in 2017 is of much relevance here.

Well, the last two seasons don't count, the two before Cove walked it, so that's the last season to really compare this one to. I'm not sure if you're right about the quality, when Brora were on fire I'd rate them better than Fraserburgh this year, who were pumped out of the Scottish Cup by Sauchie Juniors.

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8 minutes ago, welshbairn said:

Well, the last two seasons don't count, the two before Cove walked it, so that's the last season to really compare this one to. I'm not sure if you're right about the quality, when Brora were on fire I'd rate them better than Fraserburgh this year, who were pumped out of the Scottish Cup by Sauchie Juniors.

Buckie and Fraserburgh are clearly better than they were in 2017, hence why Brechin didn't stand a chance really this season.  They'll have to get stronger if they want to win the league next season.  I also doubt Brora will be as far back as they are this season, especially if Macrae keeps up his ridiculous run of goals.

Ah yes, a one off cup match, always a great yardstick of how good a team is.

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28 minutes ago, TheScarf said:

The standard is clearly higher than 5 years ago.  I don't think Buckie's points in 2017 is of much relevance here.

not quite true...the standard in the top 4/5 is probably a little better a few years ago.

There's an awful lot of dross in the lower reaches of the Highland League, however. Arguably the lower end is poorer than a few years ago.

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2 minutes ago, Ivo den Bieman said:

not quite true...the standard in the top 4/5 is probably a little better a few years ago.

There's an awful lot of dross in the lower reaches of the Highland League, however. Arguably the lower end is poorer than a few years ago.

I was clearly talking about the clubs with a chance of winning it - Fraserburgh, Buckie, Brechin and Brora.  The bottom half has always been utter shite.

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Testy.

If we're talking "top end", 5 years ago Turriff under Ross Jack had serious ambitions to move up further. Now those hopes are in ashes, and the team will be in real relegation trouble next season.

In recent seasons Forres, Wick, have been on the fronges of the top six but fallen away badly. Not so long ago Keith & Huntly regular winners / title challengers.

My point is, only a few teams have the infrastructure and money to cope with promotions- the current top 6 or 7 (you feel Brora's star is very much on the wane). The rest, sadly, are just making up the numbers, and it shows.

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21 minutes ago, TheScarf said:

Ah yes, a one off cup match, always a great yardstick of how good a team is.

I'm going on watching Brora at their peak and the two times I've seen Fraserburgh this season. They're very determined and dogged but not a lot of flair.

From what I've seen of Turriff they're a bit unlucky to be so far down the table, miles better than Strathspey who were the worst I've seen for a good while, although they seem to have improved recently with Ross Logan joining them from Clach and I think a couple more signings.

 

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7 minutes ago, Ivo den Bieman said:

Testy.

If we're talking "top end", 5 years ago Turriff under Ross Jack had serious ambitions to move up further. Now those hopes are in ashes, and the team will be in real relegation trouble next season.

In recent seasons Forres, Wick, have been on the fronges of the top six but fallen away badly. Not so long ago Keith & Huntly regular winners / title challengers.

My point is, only a few teams have the infrastructure and money to cope with promotions- the current top 6 or 7 (you feel Brora's star is very much on the wane). The rest, sadly, are just making up the numbers, and it shows.

I completely agree with you, but that is not what I and welshbairn were discussing.  He said Brechin currently have the same points as Buckie did when they won the league 5 years ago and I said yes great, the standard is higher now, as in, Fraserburgh and Buckie are clearly better than they were 5 years ago, hence why Brechin will finish 3rd with that total, or 3 more if they beat Lossie on Saturday.

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Not so long ago Keith and Huntly were challengers/winners? They've one top half finish between them since the start of the 2012/13 season, and there's a fair chance neither will make it this season. Huntly recently reached (and lost) their first knockout final since 2008. 

Brora's star will only wane when Ross County stop sending them kids. They're still well placed to do business next season if one of the contenders disappears this summer, their money and connections aren't going anywhere. Even if neither Buckie or the Broch go up, I'd fancy Brora to be Brechin's top competitor next season, this has been a real one-off campaign for Buckie and the Broch in terms of winning runs. They'll not do that again. If the three below the top four - Locos, Formartine and Rothes - could get their finger out and stop playing for fifth, we'd have quite the top half. 

The bottom half is quite the mess tho. There's too many clubs for whom the early years of the pyramid has coincided with them seeing decent teams split up or grow old (Forres, Wick, Vale), a lot of off-field shenanigans (Turriff, Rothes) or just being terrible almost forever (Fort, PIzzle) and it's going to be interesting to see who gets their act together in the coming eighteen months. 

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8 hours ago, TheScarf said:

Yep, depending on the League Two/HL/LL play off final result, the HL next season could have Fraserburgh, Buckie, Brora, BOD and Rothes in it.  Brechin will have to get their recruitment absolutely perfect this summer to win it over that lot.  Guys like Scott Barbour, Sam Urquhart and Jordan Macrae are better strikers than anything Brechin have, and they aren't going anywhere.

You've picked out their star strikers - what about the rest of the squad? 

Yes Brechin haven't got striker on 25+ goals like the other three teams but that could well be down to the fact that we've got 4/5 strikers on the books and have chopped and changed these all season. You could probably count on one hand the number of games that Barbour, Urquhart and Macrae have missed put together. If any of these players miss 6+ weeks in a season then I believe they would start to struggle against sides in the top half.

Our season has more or less come down to that collapse from 3-0 up against Fraserburgh. The Broch and Buckie have been remarkable consistent this season but we haven't been far away.

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27 minutes ago, gm_1982 said:

You've picked out their star strikers - what about the rest of the squad? 

Yes Brechin haven't got striker on 25+ goals like the other three teams but that could well be down to the fact that we've got 4/5 strikers on the books and have chopped and changed these all season. You could probably count on one hand the number of games that Barbour, Urquhart and Macrae have missed put together. If any of these players miss 6+ weeks in a season then I believe they would start to struggle against sides in the top half.

Our season has more or less come down to that collapse from 3-0 up against Fraserburgh. The Broch and Buckie have been remarkable consistent this season but we haven't been far away.

You’re effectively agreeing with what I’m saying. The standard Fraserburgh and Buckie have set is incredible and it’ll continue next season IMO. Hence why your club will need to recruit perfectly to overhaul them. 

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You’re effectively agreeing with what I’m saying. The standard Fraserburgh and Buckie have set is incredible and it’ll continue next season IMO. Hence why your club will need to recruit perfectly to overhaul them. 


Not really, I don’t believe that either Broch or Buckie will be as consistent next season. Brechin will have a more settled squad than last summer which will hopefully be of benefit, but we will need to recruit well as you say.

They have had a fair rub of the green in terms of injuries etc.
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19 hours ago, welshbairn said:

I'm going on watching Brora at their peak and the two times I've seen Fraserburgh this season. They're very determined and dogged but not a lot of flair.

It's worth remembering that Brechin were comfortably beating Fraserburgh  3-0 (or possibly 3-1, I forget exactly) before they got a player sent off and imploded.

Although the Broch beat Brechin earlier in the season, that was at a time when the Brechin squad comprised new signings still gelling as a team, and naive about the league.

That said, I sincerely hope Fraserburgh make it up, simply because it'll increase our chances of doing the same next season.

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There's zero evidence so far to suggest that Buckie and Fraserburgh wont have 1st an 2nd tied up again next season.  They have the 2 best squads in the league.  Hence why Brechin and Brora will need to recruit very well to finish above them.

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Zero evidence, other than Buckie losing to one of the likely contenders for next seasons title on the weekend and following it up by a scabby draw with Wick. 

Buckie are where they are just now because they won 23 games in a row. That alone is an absolute freak of a stat and won’t be repeated. 

If they’re both still here the Broch and Buckie will be top four but Brora will almost certainly be better next season, and The Chinners likewise. 

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2 minutes ago, Jimmy Shaker said:

Zero evidence, other than Buckie losing to one of the likely contenders for next seasons title on the weekend and following it up by a scabby draw with Wick. 

Buckie are where they are just now because they won 23 games in a row. That alone is an absolute freak of a stat and won’t be repeated. 

If they’re both still here the Broch and Buckie will be top four but Brora will almost certainly be better next season, and The Chinners likewise. 

Although Jimmy can be a WUM at times, he has an encyclopedic knowledge of the Highland League, and I'm more inclined to believe his analyses, as he is right more often than not.

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