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Ross Sutherland skipper Tom Bannerman looking to use long away journeys to Stags' advantage

By Andrew Henderson

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Ross Sutherland captain Tom Bannerman hopes to use the long time spent travelling to matches to the club’s advantage this season.

The Stags have their first away trip of the campaign tomorrow when they head east to Aberdeen Grammar 2nd XV.

Although clubs like Ross Sutherland are used to copious amounts of time on the road in order to fulfil their fixtures, it is easy to immediately assume it will have a negative effect on the Stags’ squad.

Such long journeys every week are disruptive purely looking at how early they need to set off, and that is before even taking into account the difficulty in staying loose to be at their best after a couple of hours on a bus.

After so long without an away day, though, Bannerman believes it could be just the tonic his teammates need.

“I think just going down together is going to be a bit of a morale boost,” Bannerman said.

“We haven’t had a clubhouse, and with Covid we haven’t really been able to interact with each other as a team.

Ross Sutherland captain Tom Bannerman dives clear of the last line of Moray's defence last weekend. Picture: Peter Carson
Ross Sutherland captain Tom Bannerman dives clear of the last line of Moray's defence last weekend. Picture: Peter Carson

“I think that connection might be what has been missing, so actually going away this weekend as a team is going to be a benefit for us.

“I was speaking to some of the boys before training on Tuesday and they were sending me their thoughts, and one of the things that came up is that we don’t have a hub at the moment because the clubhouse is still in construction.

“Going away and really reinforcing that two-hour period where we’re sat with each other chatting is actually going to be quite good, so there are definitely positives to take from away games.”

With a young squad and around 18 months without matches, some players may never have experienced any sort of senior away day.

Bannerman hopes that travelling as a unit, then, will help those less experienced players settle into the match in Aberdeen – and continue to pay dividends over the rest of the season.

“All of our away games
this season are going to be quite far afield, but I think it will be good for them,” he said.

“They will be nervous going away, but I think having that camaraderie will help them to feel a bit more like part of the team.

“It has been really hard to connect with the boys, so I definitely think there are going to be positives.”

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