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Elgin City manager Gavin Price eyes fresh Borough Briggs blood and is pleased with pre-season wins over Highland League sides Clachnacuddin and Lossiemouth

By Craig Christie

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Gavin Price is targeting permanent and loan signings over the next month to strength Elgin City's League Two challenge next season.

Elgin boss Gavin Price. Photo: Bob Crombie
Elgin boss Gavin Price. Photo: Bob Crombie

A young City side defeated Moray neighbours Lossiemouth 6-0 on Tuesday night, having beaten Clachnacuddin 5-0 in Inverness on Saturday.

Manager Price is running the rule over three trialists who have played in the two friendlies so far and are set to feature in this weekend's Borough Briggs centenary tournament.

Price also said he is "in the mix" for loan signings from higher level clubs including a striker who he hopes to bring in for the start of the league campaign on July 30.

On Saturday, goals by Matheus Machado, new centre-back Jake Dolzanski, Fin Allen, Angus Mailer and Brian Cameron saw off hosts Clach.

Gavin Price with new centre back Jake Dolzanski. Photo: ECFC Facebook.
Gavin Price with new centre back Jake Dolzanski. Photo: ECFC Facebook.

Included in the Elgin team that day was Northern Irish teenage full back Euan Deveney, who was recently released by Kilmarnock.

A younger City team still contained several first team regulars on Tuesday and beat Lossie 6-0 at the Gleaner Arena.

Jake Thomson, who was on loan at Strathspey Thistle last season, opened the scoring before Matt Jamieson, another farmed out to the Highland League last term at Deveronvale, added a second before half time.

Darryl McHardy nodded in a third and Machado - who recently signed a contract extension - fired in his second in two games.

Matheus Machado has scored in both Elgin friendlies so far. Picture: Daniel Forsyth
Matheus Machado has scored in both Elgin friendlies so far. Picture: Daniel Forsyth

Another former Strathspey loan player Dylan Lawrence slid in the fifth and sub Russell Dingwall crashed home the final goal.

On trial for City last night at right back was former Strathspey, Turriff and Fraserburgh defender Owen Cairns (23), who was on loan at Peterhead last season.

And Scotland schoolboy international captain Kenny MacInnes (18), who has been released by Caley Thistle having spent part of last season on loan at Forres Mechanics, impressed in midfield.

"They are two players who we definitely want to have another look at," said Price. "Euan Deveney did well (at Clach) but he is at Airdrie training this week, we are hoping to get him up again for the weekend."

Price has also been in negotiation with other clubs regarding loan signings and said "four or five" players could become available, of which he would like to take at least two in for the league season.

One of them is a highly-rated striker who he is hopeful of bringing in next month.

Assessing City's friendlies so far, price said: "It’s pre-season and two good games, a fitness exercise and a chance to get match minute in the legs.

"It’s a younger team we’ve put out there tonight (against Lossiemouth) so it’s good to see a lot of them who have definitely come on over the last year."

Star striker Kane Hester has missed both games so far due to a slight injury but is expected to return to training on Thursday and may be in contention for a run-out either on Saturday or Sunday at the Elgin tournament.

City were also missing keeper Tom McHale as well as Mailer, Dolzanski and summer signing from Cove Rangers, Jevan Anderson.

"It’s quite pleasing to see that from a mixed squad because we were obviously missing a lot of players. It shows we’ve got a bit of depth.

"We obviously can’t carry all of these players in the squad but they certain can have a future at Elgin. We definitely need to put one or two out on loan at some point.

"It was a good exercise and I’m really happy with the way they’ve come back.

"Some of the lads have progressed because of what they’ve done in the Highland League and that is what it’s all about, that is what the academy is for and thankfully we are starting to see the benefits of it."

Jamie Tinnock, Owen Loveland and Ben Cormack also featured against Lossiemouth, three products of the City youth academy who have been loaned out in recent times.

And there was a run-out for youngsters Aidan Cruickshank - who was on loan at Dufftown last term - and Harvey Henderson, who appeared on the first team bench for the final home league game of last season.

Price said he will only look to bring in players who can enhance his squad.

"There’s other players we have identified for loans that might not come in now but during the League Cup section and hopefully before the end of July.

"We have showed we have a decent depth of squad at the moment, even for starting the League Cup section but we want to make sure that the players we get in now are going to be the right ones.

"There’s always a flurry when squads are finalised from teams higher up and players may become available.

"We are in the mix for four or five players and we probably need two of them and I’m 99 per cent sure on one of them who should be a good one, but we will wait and see what happens."

Price will be assisted by former boss Jim Weir next season and helping him on the sidelines on Tuesday was formee Elgin head of youth development Charlie Charlesworth, who has managed several Highland League clubs in recent years.

"Charlie has been good with the numbers we’ve had in pre-season, and it was important that we had someone else in," Price said.

"Myself and Jim are not always up on the same night and it’s good to have someone else. He is good with the players and would be a good addition if he comes in on a more regular thing.

"That link between youth and the first team is naturally happening with training anyway so it’s good to have that, and Charlie is well-liked so we want to have him involved."

City play Highland League champions Fraserburgh on Saturday at Borough Briggs (1pm) and meet either Inverurie Locos or Peterhead the following day.

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