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St Duthus brothers celebrate 100 games in charge of Tain club in North Caledonian League

By Will Clark

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MANAGEMENT duo Andrew Ross and Stuart Ross will take charge of their 100th game with St Duthus when they face Inverness Athletic in the North Caledonian League on Saturday.

Stuart Ross and Andrew Ross
Stuart Ross and Andrew Ross

The brothers have played an instrumental part in the resurgence of the Tain outfit returning to football after rejoining the league in 2016 after the club was out of action for over a decade.

During the last five years, they have helped grow the club to become a major force in the division, finishing in the top four in the last two seasons as well as winning silverware in cup competitions.

Chairman Niall Harkiss paid tribute to both men for what they have achieved during their time at the club so far.

“When you look around not just the North Caledonian League, but football in general, not too many people stay in management as long as they have,” said Harkiss.

“They are a huge part of our club as they are on the committee and part of the fabric which helped us revive St Duthus in the first place.

“The week to week, year to year pressure of being manager means there are less people at clubs who are there for sustained periods.

“But Andrew and Stuart are into their sixth season with us and during that period we have achieved success.

“They have to get to grips with the challenges of the league and often have to do a rebuild job, as we are just now.

“More power to them and sticking with it and keeping the club going by being in charge of 100 games.”

Andrew Ross and Stuart Ross
Andrew Ross and Stuart Ross

Harkiss added: “It is no mean feat considering the North Caledonian League has been a league with so few games.

“Maybe for the Highland League, 100 games would not sound like an awful lot of matches.

“But for the North Caledonian League it is a lot of games and especially after a pandemic it shows great commitment.”

Andrew Ross and Stuart Ross
Andrew Ross and Stuart Ross

In 2016, the Ross brothers along with Harkiss and Dale Finlayson held a meeting at the St Duthus Hotel in Tain to speak about starting up the club as there had not been senior football in the town for 10 years.

Harkiss said: “The impetus to get a football club came from us as a collective who knew each other for years and everything fell into the right place at the right time as the buzz for winter football was on the rise.

“Andrew and Stuart’s connection with the town along with their dad Tommy being the manager of Tain St Duthus in the 1990’s naturally made them embroiled in the culture of it all.

“Everything can work fine off the field, but it can be a struggle to make it work on the field going through managers and players.

“It has been really fantastic with Andrew and Stuart they have been so passionate behind the idea of St Duthus, they have been able to hit the ground running with a clear idea of what they want to do and continue.

“We have been lucky to be in our position to hold on to our managers.”

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