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Young Ross County prospects given opportunity to make Kettlewell rethink transfer plans

By Andrew Henderson

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Stuart Kettlewell has not ruled out giving youth a chance as he continue to look to reshape his squad.

The Ross County manager has been open about the areas he is looking to target, with a new left back and a goalkeeper on the agenda.

To some extent, his hand has been forced in those positions – full backs Sean Kelly, Richard Foster and Marcus Fraser all left the club this summer, while Nathan Baxter’s loan ended and Ross Munro picked up an injury on his return from a loan spell at Raith Rovers.

However, Josh Reid has been promoted from the reserves to the senior squad ahead of next season, and as the only left back currently training he has a chance to make his mark.

Josh Reid. Picture - Ken Macpherson, Inverness.
Ross County FC Season 2019-20.
Josh Reid. Picture - Ken Macpherson, Inverness. Ross County FC Season 2019-20.

He was given an early opportunity to impress Kettlewell on Saturday in a bounce game at Aberdeen’s Cormack Park against the Dons, where he was one of six academy graduates to feature in a 2–2 draw.

Bruce Anderson had given the hosts a two-goal advantage, but Regan Charles-Cook and Billy Mckay drew County back level.

Premiership clubs are allowed to play friendlies, and Kettlewell says it is a chance for Reid to convince him the teenager can hold his own in the first team.

“We’ve got young Josh at the football club who we absolutely love and he is progressing well here,” Kettlewell said.

“There’s an amazing opportunity for him as the only left back in the first team squad at the minute. It is a brilliant opportunity for a young lad who stays five minutes from the ground.

“It makes it even sweeter that we have someone from the local area who is performing to the level he is.

“Now it falls on him to go and progress. He is only 18 but is showing up really well in the first team sessions so far.

“Much as I’m looking for someone else in that area, it’s not to say there won’t be an opportunity given to a young player.”

In goal, the Staggies have been linked with a loan move for Celtic stopper Ross Doohan, who has spent the last two years at Ayr United.

Again, Kettlewell has called on youngsters to train for the time being, but here he is looking to bring someone in.

“We’ve had a look at a couple of goalkeepers," he admitted.

“Ross Laidlaw is our only senior goalkeeper and we have a 16 year-old, Logan Ross, who has just come into the full-time environment and he’s performed really well.

"He has probably surpassed expectations to be honest, he’s been excellent after being pitched in at the deep end.

“We don’t have any deal done for any goalkeeper, although there have been positive talks on a couple of players in a couple of different areas. We’ll just see how that progresses over the next couple of days.”

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