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Covid-19 would have hampered Buckie Thistle's quest to topple Caley Thistle in the Scottish Cup with five players self-isolating, but they will be back when football returns from suspension.

By Craig Christie

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THE coronavirus pandemic had an impact on Buckie Thistle’s Scottish Cup plans before their season was locked down this week.

When the season was in action.....Buckie boss Graeme Stewart celebrates a win with captain Kevin Fraser. Photo: Daniel Forsyth.
When the season was in action.....Buckie boss Graeme Stewart celebrates a win with captain Kevin Fraser. Photo: Daniel Forsyth.

Manager Graeme Stewart revealed that five Jags players were forced to self-isolate over the past week after coming into contact with people who had tested positive for coronavirus.

He said players would have missed Saturday’s cup clash with Caley Thistle – which was postponed – and Tuesday night’s rescheduled tie which was then shelved after the supension of lower league football was announced on Monday.

“We’ve had issues with five players who have been isolating at different times due to family members testing positive,” Stewart said.

“We were missing three players if it went ahead on Saturday, and at least two if it went ahead on Tuesday, so we were affected by that.

“It wouldn’t have been ideal for us but sense prevailed in the end and this will give us an opportunity to get the virus under control.

With less mixing and the vaccine being out, we can only wait and see what the next few weeks bring.”

Stewart has now given his players fitness programmes to follow for the rest of the month, since clubs are no longer able to train because of the increased restrictions.

He is confident that his squad would be in good shape if play was able to resume in February, but has doubts about a return to action so quickly.

“It’s been sorted now and we will see what happens in February, as it could last a bit longer than that.”

But Stewart believes the league can still be completed. “Because it’s a short league this year I don’t there will be an issue with finishing it. We can play midweek games so we should still be able to finish by April.

“A different question would be: do you just go into next season? Nobody will do that. Do you play summer football? For me it’s yes but they won’t do that either.

“We can only wait and see what happens.”

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