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Loan deal takes Archie Macphee to Elgin City from Formartine United for fourth spell at Borough Briggs club


By Craig Christie

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ARCHIE Mcphee has returned to Borough Briggs as the first of two Elgin City loan signings for the restart of the League Two season.

Archie Macphee (right) will complete his loan move to Elgin City this week. Picture: Bob Crombie
Archie Macphee (right) will complete his loan move to Elgin City this week. Picture: Bob Crombie

City manager Gavin Price, who tried to bring Macphee in at the start of the current campaign, has finally agreed a deal with parent club Formartine United to farm him out for the remainder of the season.

It will be a fourth spell at Elgin for the left-sided defender or midfielder, who turns 28 on the date of League Two’s resumption on March 20.

See below for YouTube highlights of Archie Macphee's last game for Elgin City against Cowdenbeath a year ago.

Price said he has also agreed a loan deal for a second, unnamed player, which he expects to finalise next week.

Macphee could play for Elgin in a friendly match at Forfar Athletic tomorrow, a week ahead of the first fixture back in League Two, which has yet to be confirmed by the SPFL.

“Archie trained with us (on Tuesday night) so I believe he is signed now, once the paperwork is through,” said Price. “That was a vital one for us to get in. He knows what is expected and knows how we play.

“He showed with the stuff he was doing in training that he’s kept himself very fit.

“He’s not played any football this season, but it’s effectively a new season for everybody.”

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Macphee played six games for City last season on loan from Formartine, scoring twice to help the Black and Whites into third place in the league and in strong contention for the play-offs.

He netted in a 3-2 win over Cowdenbeath exactly a year ago this week in a match that turned out to be the final one of the 2019-20 season before it was shut down due to coronavirus.

The player’s career began at Ross County as a teenager, and he had loan spells at Forres Mechanics and his first stint at Elgin in 2011-12.

In that first campaign at Borough Briggs, he helped the team, managed by Ross Jack, to reach the play-offs for the first time, losing to Albion Rovers in the semi finals.

He returned to Ross County, but became a permanent City signing in 2014, going on to play three full seasons, including the club’s second appearance in the play-offs under Jim Weir in 2015-16, after finishing second in League Two behind champions East Fife.

However, there was more play-off heartache for Macphee and City as they again crashed out in the semi finals, this time to Clyde.

Macphee dropped down to the Highland League with Formartine in 2017, where he established himself as an attacker and scored 30 goals in one season.

However, he fell out of favour at the Pitmedden club and was loaned out to Forfar Athletic, then Elgin last season for his third term at the Moray outfit.

He is expected to play at Forfar, with Price also trying to organise a midweek friendly against Keith before leading his team make their return to competitive matches.

As part of the agreement to return to lower league action, City’s entire squad and management team were given Covid tests on Saturday, and have to repeat the exercise on a weekly basis.

The testing regime is particularly difficult for Elgin, whose squad is spread all over the country and this has posed a problem for club secretary Keiran Carty to ensure that everyone finds a location to test at.

“It’s probably harder on Elgin to administer that than any club in Scotland,” said Price.

“With the geography of where everyone lives, it’s obviously hard to get everybody in one place, but we’ve been getting some favours.

“I was down with my assistant Keith Gibson getting done at St Johnstone, a lot of the Glasgow boys were down at Queen’s Park, Russell Dingwall was in at Inverness and the Angus boys were in Aberdeen, so we’ve been all over trying to sort this out.

“Keiran has done a great job in getting it organised, so we have to work round that way just now.”


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