Shetland F.C vs Clachnacuddin F.C

Shetland FC begin thier winter cup competitions this weekend, with a fixture in Thurso against Clachnacuddin F.C – a team from Inverness who are well established in the Highland Leagues. Thier reserve team operate in the North Caledonian Leagues, and have been drawn against Shetland in this opening round.

A win for Shetland on Saturday will see them progress to the semi final against Lewis & Harris FC.

However, Shetland manager Niall Bristow says there are plenty of challenges for his squad to overcome…

“We believe it’s a youth side we’ll be facing on Saturday”, says Bristow. “Clach are predominatley a Highland League team, and I doubt if there would be a crossover between Highland and North Caledonian Leage squads, so we believe it’s a youth team of sorts, but we can’t take that to mean it’s going to be an easy game for us. They’re probably young, hungy, enthusiastic, and very skillfull.”

niall bristow

(Photo: Katie Bristow)

Clachnacuddin F.C is not a team Shetland have encountered before, and bring with them a sense of the unknown, but Bristow believes it’s good for to his players to meet new opposition:

“It’s great to be playing against different players, and meeting different challenges. It’s three months since we played a competitive fixture at the Shetland vs Orkney intercounty, and that is a draw back, but we’re pretty adaptible to that and the boys are used to not playing as regularly as other teams.

“We come together well, we train very well, and we treat every match like a one-off cup final. That gets you up for it, and the disdvantage of not playing so regularly is offset by that feeling of ‘great, we’re playing together again!’

Bristow is also confident of his team’s chances in the cup this year: “If we are fortunate enough to win on Saturday, we’ll play Lewis & Harris in the semi final, and that’ll be a great game against another island team. They’ll be of a very high standard, but we just feel that with the way the draw has gone for this competition – we stand a very good chance fo getting to the final. Having come close – and feeling a sense of injustice about the result last time – we feel that this is our best chance.”

Bristow believes that this is one of the strongest Shetland sides to travel south to date – and despite losing key playes like Robert Smith, Jordan Webb and James Aitkin for this fixture – the weekend game see’s the return of  James Farmer, Calvin Leask and Sam Ward to Shetland duties. The Shetland vs Clachnacuddin match kicks off at 2pm, on Saturday 11th October 2014, at ‘the Dammies’ in Thurso (Sir George’s Park).

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