Higher league clubs are on the trail of Elgin City star striker Kane Hester
50% off a six-month digital e-edition subscription with promo code '50OFF'
ELGIN City could be set to lose prize asset Kane Hester, who is attracting strong interest from higher level clubs in Scotland.
City manager Gavin Price admitted he faces a challenge in keeping Hester at Borough Briggs but says he would not stand in the way of a move into full-time football for the player.
Scouts from Scottish and English clubs have attended City’s games and watched Hester (25) score 11 goals including two hat-tricks in 12 appearances this term, adding to the 19 goals he notched in the club’s curtailed 2019-20 season.
“There’s definitely interest which is inevitable and he deserves it the way he is playing,” said Price.
“We’ve had scouts up watching him from teams further afield than Scotland. We have spoken to him about it and he is keeping his feet on the ground and he is really happy at Elgin.
“He realises that in part-time football he is at the right club for him. But if he gets the opportunity at full-time football, which is something he would aspire to, I completely understand as a former player myself that it’s something he should have ambitions to do.
“We’ve got him until 2023 on contract but if we keep him for that long is a different story.
“Kane wanted the security and didn’t want the speculation.
“It has to be the right club for him and I will tell him if it’s the right club. There’s been speculation from various clubs which I don’t think is the right thing for him and I just think he needs to keep going and he will get the right club when it comes.”
Hester would command a good fee if he did agree to a higher level move, but Elgin would badly miss the talents of a player in the best form of his career.
Last year they lost top scorer Shane Sutherland to Championship side Caley Thistle, with the player on the brink of hitting 30 goals when the season was shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic. Now City face the possibility of a second promotion bid faltering at the hands of the pandemic.
The Scottish FA suspended play for all clubs below Championship level this week, following talks with the Scottish Government based on the increasing number of Covid-19 cases.
City were due to play three consecutive home matches against Ayr United in the Scottish Cup (postponed last Saturday), Edinburgh City and Stirling Albion, all games now postponed.
“A couple of months ago we welcomed back crowds and that was a really good motivation for me and the players.
“So it is a bit of a downer when you get a wee taste of that, and then it’s taken away and then the actual football is taken away,” said Price.
“But ultimately this decision goes beyond football. It’s the safety of all the players and staff that are involved and other teams, and everyone’s families.
“They’ve got to make it right for the good of everyone and it’s not a decision anyone wanted to make but I feel it is the right decision.”