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Elgin City sell striker Ben Barron to Highland League Nairn County with a ‘buy back’ clause as manager Allan Hale looks to fund swoop on transfer market this week

By Craig Christie

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Elgin City have sold striker Ben Barron to Nairn County, with a clause opening the door to a possible return to Borough Briggs in the future.

Ben Barron in action for Elgin City. Picture: Bob Crombie
Ben Barron in action for Elgin City. Picture: Bob Crombie

Barron (19) has signed a three-year deal with Highland League County, where he spent the second half of last season on loan from Elgin.

The former Caley Thistle youth player joined City last summer from Forres Mechanics, scoring on his debut in the SPFL Trust Trophy against St Johnstone B and going on to make seven starts and 13 sub appearances.

Ben Barron (second right) scored on his Elgin City debut against St Johnstone B. Picture: Bob Crombie
Ben Barron (second right) scored on his Elgin City debut against St Johnstone B. Picture: Bob Crombie

During his short spell at Elgin he worked under three managers, and was eventually farmed out to Nairn where he scored ten goals in as many appearances before picking up an injury.

City manager Allan Hale said the Black and Whites’ tight financial restraints persuaded him to accept Nairn’s offer to free up money for other transfer targets, with the Moray club expected to bring in two new faces this week.

Hale revealed how he insisted on a clause being written into Barron’s contract at Station Park giving Elgin an option to buy the player back in the future.

“Ben is really unfortunate because had the budgetary position been stronger, he was someone we would have wanted to keep around the club because of his age and the fact that he will continue to develop,” said Hale.

“In terms of the here and now, with the offer that was made it was something we couldn’t say no to. (Nairn manager) Ross Tokely has been really accommodating in terms of having that option to buy Ben back, which is really positive.

“It’s something we were keen to make sure was built into the deal and Ross has been brilliant to deal with in that sense.

“At this moment, maybe the timing wasn’t right for Ben in terms of where we are from a budgetary perspective, so it was one that just made sense and it gets Ben playing regular football and means that we can keep tabs on him and possibly one day if everything realigns itself then we can look to bring him back in when things are a bit more stabilised.

“There’s players that we want to bring in and it wouldn’t have been possible without raising some finance in order to make it happen.”

City have already brought in Glasgow-based striker Olly McDonald (24), who started his career at Kilmarnock and has had SPFL spells with Clyde, Stranraer and last club Edinburgh City.

Hale may unveil two more fresh faces in time for his squad’s return to pre-season training tomorrow.

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