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Manager Garry Reid expecting Caberfeidh players to raise their games for Camanachd Cup opener away at Lovat

By Andrew Henderson

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The Camanachd Cup may represent Caberfeidh’s last chance of cup success in 2024, but manager Garry Reid does not think the competition will define their season.

Cabers make the short journey to Lovat for their opening match in the biggest cup competition in shinty this weekend, hoping to get the better of a side who have reached four of the last six finals.

Reid is looking forward to getting the Castle Leod outfit’s Camanachd campaign under way, expecting the players to have that little bit of extra desire to perform.

Caberfeidh manager Garry Reid. Picture: Neil Paterson
Caberfeidh manager Garry Reid. Picture: Neil Paterson

However, while acknowledging that the competition could be Caberfeidh’s last chance at silverware in 2024, he does not think the season lives or dies by this Saturday’s result.

“There are obviously a number of different cups in shinty, but the Camanachd is still the biggest trophy in the game, so this is always a big week,” he said.

“I think the players up their game, but I also think there are a few more nerves. There’s a real sense that everyone wants to do well in the Camanachd Cup.

“We’ve been really unfortunate with the draws in the last couple of years, and we have ended up playing Kingussie or Kinlochshiel or a big team like that.

“Lovat will be no different on Saturday. They will have a few players back from injury, so it will be a tough game, but we go into it with a team who believe in themselves, and believe they can go and beat Lovat.

“It’s a big game on Saturday for us as well, because it’s the last cup we are in.

“I don’t think I would call it season defining, because we still have aspirations of doing well and finishing in a better position in the league than we did last season, but it is our last opportunity to win a cup so it is important.”

It has been 85 years since Caberfeidh last got their hands on the Camanachd Cup, and despite some close calls in recent years 1939 was also the last time they made it to the final.

Reid insists that record does not add any pressure to him or his players, but he is confident that Cabers have the quality to go far in this year’s competition if they can play to their potential.

“I don’t think there’s a weight of history, but it has been a very long time,” he reasoned.

“For a number of years, the club competed well at that intermediate level and won a lot of Balliemore Cups. That was probably the last successes.

“Now we’re competing at the high end of the competitions, so it’s that little bit tougher.

“There’s no doubt that the club has ambitions. We’ve got a great set of players and a great set-up, so the ambition now is to capitalise on that and – at some point – hopefully the trophies will come.

“It would be a major boost for us to go deep into the Camanachd Cup this year.

“If we get through, we would have no fear of playing anybody. We know that on our day, if we perform, we are a match for any team at the moment.

“We’ve got to go out and perform, and we’ll just take it one game at a time.”

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