Orkney v Shetland (Jock Mackay Cup 2017)

Shetland FC are back in competitive action this weekend with a Jock Mackay Cup first round tie against intercounty counterparts Orkney. The fixture will be played in Dounby on Saturday afternoon with a scheduled kick off time of 12.30.

The fixture presents Shetland with the opportunity to make amends following their surprise county defeat in Kirkwall last year. Following a 6-0 victory at the Gilbertson Park the previous year, the boys in blue were beaten 3-2 despite going ahead in the match after Paul Molloy’s second half strike.

And this encounter promises to be nip and tuck once again with both sides training hard over the winter months in preparation for the Island Games in Gotland this summer. Shetland will be looking to build on the 4th position they achieved in Jersey two years ago while Orkney feature in an Island Games for the first time since 2005.

However both teams face stiff opposition in the group stages of this year’s competition. Orkney have been drawn against 2015 bronze medallists Menorca; three-times winners Jersey; and Channel Island minnows Alderney while Shetland are up against last year’s winners Guernsey; 2009 runners-up Aland; and Estonian side Saaremaa.

This weekend’s match will therefore provide both teams with valuable game time in the lead up to the Games with Shetland playing in a competitive match for the first time since their Football Times Cup semi-final defeat to Invergordon in mid-October. Shetland will be looking to reclaim the cup title they secured in 2015 after failing to defend the trophy last season following a number of travel disruptions.

Manager Niall Bristow, in for his third stint, and assistant Kevin Main have selected a strong squad to travel away this weekend despite a couple of players being unavailable. The full squad is as follows: Grant Wood (Spurs), Saul Swanson (Thistle), Ryan Grant (Celtic), Piotr Drozdowski (Whitedale), Richard Arthur (captain) (Whalsay), Josie Kay (Spurs), Jack Clubb (Celtic), James Farmer (Ness Utd), John Allan (Scalloway), Magnus Thompson (Whalsay), Calvin Leask (Thistle), James Aitken (Celtic), Gary Sutherland (Delting), Sam Maver (Spurs), Bobby Scott (Whitedale) and Greg Tulloch (Whitedale).

The Shetland team would once again like to thank their sponsors Northlink Ferries for their continued support.