Published: 13/07/2017 10:00 - Updated: 12/07/2017 09:22

Forfar clash is ideal for Nairn County

Written byPaul Chalk

NAIRN County head from their own Station Park to Forfar Athletic’s Station Park on Saturday for their latest pre-season friendly.

They will be the next Highland League club to take on the League One Loons, who had a 1-1 draw against Formartine United, a 4-2 win against Cove Rangers before losing out 2-1 against an impressive Inverurie Locos side on Tuesday.

Nairn and Forfar struck up a fine bond in November 2012 when, then under manager Les Fridge, they drew a thriller 3-3 away from home in the Scottish Cup before being edged out 3-2 back in the Highlands.

Gary Bollan’s side, who last week added former St Johnstone, Motherwell and Hamilton defender Simon Mensing to his ranks, gained promotion from League Two in May via the promotion play-offs and will be a strong test for Nairn.

However, that is just what manager Ronnie Sharp’s side need, given that their first four league games are Forres Mechanics away on July 29, Deveronvale at home on August 2, champions Buckie Thistle away on August 5 and Clach at home seven days later.

Sharp said: "We’re treating this as a good away day for the players, especially the new boys. It’s a chance for them to get involved on the bus and, from that point of view, it will be worthwhile.

"It’s another hard game for us, having played St Mirren and Caley Thistle from the Championship and then Forfar from League One. We have a tough start to the season and these games are ideal because we have to work hard off the ball."

After facing Forfar, Nairn finish against two junior sides ahead of the new season. They take on Nairn St Ninians on Thursday, July 20 then New Elgin three days later.

After facing Forfar, Nairn finish against two junior sides ahead of the new season.

They take on Nairn St Ninians on Thursday, July 20 then New Elgin on July 23.

Last Friday, a youthful Nairn side lost 4-1 to Caley Thistle five days after they lost 9-0 to St Mirren.

Sharp swooped to secure the services of ex-Clach full-back Ryan Macdonald until the end of the season and he came on in the second half against ICT.

However, in recent weeks Nairn have been without experienced figures like Gregg Main and Gary Kerr through injury, plus Wayne Mackintosh, Paul Macleod, Jamie Mackay have left the club, so the search is on for wiser heads to help the younger players.

Sharp has added teenagers Cohen Ramsay and Max Ewan, as well as Ewen Urquhart, Adam Naismith and Adam Porritt to the squad for the new season.

As well as the three departed players, Stephen Mackenzie and Jason Morganti have effectively been ruled out for the foreseeable future with work commitments.

Striker Gary Kerr has had keyhole surgery on his knee and will see a consultant on Tuesday, with the hope that he can return to training later this month.

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