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Hard work and belief saw Caberfeidh scale new heights in shinty's Premiership, says manager Garry Reid

By Andrew Henderson

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Caberfeidh manager Garry Reid says there was no magic ingredient that led to the club’s highest ever finish in the shinty leagues – simply hard work.

Cabers were as prolific as ever – boosted by Craig Morrison once again being far and away the Premiership’s top scorer – and secured a fourth-place finish when the final whistle was blown on the 2023 season.

Caberfeidh finished fourth in the 2023 shinty Premiership. Picture: James Mackenzie
Caberfeidh finished fourth in the 2023 shinty Premiership. Picture: James Mackenzie

For Reid’s first year in charge, it has to be considered a success, even if pre-season ambitions of lifting a trophy were not met.

“I think there was just a growing belief in the players that they could compete with other teams,” Reid reasoned.

“The really pleasing aspect was that we took at least a point from every other team in the league – I don’t think any other team did that, even Kingussie because we beat them home and away.

“We believe in ourselves, and we have got the players as fit as I’ve ever seen them as well. I don’t think there’s any magic ingredient other than just going out on the pitch and working hard, and believing that they can actually win.”

Reid had managed Scotland – and still does – before joining Caberfeidh, meaning it was a return to the club environment for him.

That in itself was a learning curve, and there were some surprises along the way as Reid re-adjusted.

“I didn’t think I would enjoy this year as much as I have, the staff and players have been very welcoming,” he explained.

“It took a wee bit of time to get used to. I can’t get over the commitment that you’ve got to give, that took me a bit by surprise.

“So did the level and standard of the Premiership – it was probably one of the most competitive Premierships there has ever been. Only Glasgow fell off at the bottom, every other team was competing.

“The standard and the length of the commitment needed is definitely a challenge. We started in January and we didn’t play our final game until the first week of November. For an amateur team, that’s definitely a challenge.

“The fact that I live in Dingwall, so it’s only five minutes out to the Cabers pitch and even closer to training at Dingwall Academy, makes it easier.”

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