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More options for Mann to pick from at Ross Sutherland

By Andrew Henderson

John Mann expects to have a bigger squad to call on for Ross Sutherland next season.

The Stags head coach has been talking to players interested in playing for the Invergordon outfit next season, giving him more options to pick from.

That, coupled with minimal departures from last season’s squad, should give Mann a boost.

John Mann hopes to have far more options to pick from in his squad for next season. Picture: Peter Carson
John Mann hopes to have far more options to pick from in his squad for next season. Picture: Peter Carson

Often players move away from the area for work or studies, or hang up their boots and call it a day.

However this year, most of the young Stags who broke through into the senior team last season look to be sticking around.

“At the moment it’s a lot of chatting with guys, ones that have finished uni and moving back to the area or guys that have said that even after exams they will be staying local for trades work, or local college,” Mann explained.

“It’s looking like a lot of the talent that made that step up to senior rugby last year will be staying.

“We’ve had a lot of chat from a couple of students that are looking to play for Ross Sutherland next year instead of playing uni rugby, or doing both.

“We’ll have a pool of players that will be really helpful for our away day numbers, but they’re pretty committed to playing home games as well.”

Last season was one of big turnover for Ross Sutherland, forcing them to blood a handful of teenagers in the first team.

Those players will have more experience, and Mann believes they will be joined by more youngsters.

“We’ll be getting stronger and stronger, but younger and younger, which is nice – I can sort of be the old man I want to be,” he joked.

“There’s a few exciting names for next year that are in that 19 to 22-year-old bracket too, so it’s looking positive going forward.”

Pre-season starts for the Stags on Tuesday, July 2, but that does not mean they have been sitting idle since the end of last season.

Mann added: “We’ve had two touch programmes this summer.

“That’s kept the boys who don’t have a second sport going. We just need to get back to 15-a-side, a bit of full contact.”

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