Published: 27/07/2017 10:45 - Updated: 26/07/2017 10:04

Clach set to face wounded champions Buckie Thistle

Written byJamie Durent

Clach manager Iain Polworth.IAIN Polworth expects to face a wounded Buckie Thistle in their Highland League opener.

Clach travel to face the league champions at Victoria Park, on the back of them being thumped 6-1 by Raith Rovers in their final Betfred Cup fixture.

However, impressive showings against Dundee and Dundee United, stressed to the Lilywhites boss by Caley Thistle manager John Robertson, highlights their capabilities.

Polworth said: "Buckie will be hurting after Tuesday’s results but by all accounts in their last two games – Caley Thistle watched them in their last two games and Robbo spoke highly about how well they did against Dundee and Dundee United."

Clach rounded off their pre-season preparations with a 4-1 defeat to the Caley Jags on Tuesday night.

Goals from Felitciano Zschusschen, Liam MacDonald, Connor Bell and Alex Cooper put the Championship side four up, before Ross MacKillop headed in a consolation.

Polworth has not had his problems to seek with team selection, with injuries and absentees blighting the squad.

Veteran defender David McGurk is set to re-sign but picked up a knee injury in midweek. Polworth also hopes to add John MacAskill, an ex-Clach player whose work commitments as a ghillie could have curtailed any move.

He said: "David took a knock and will be out for the first couple of games.

"But we got another 90 minutes for John MacAskill and Stuart Leslie, who haven’t played much recently."

Daniel MacLennan is suspended and Ian Penwright (holiday) and Ryan Mackintosh (work commitments) are out. Fraser Robertson, John Campbell and Martin Callum are injured.

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