Many were surprised when Allan Hale decided to quit Fraserburgh at the end of last season, deciding to take on the managerial job at junior side Maud.
Heading into the new season, Hale invited the Fraserburgh Herald to Pleasure Park to see the new-look Maud side in action against a strong Deveronvale side.
Introducing enough new players to start an entirely new team, Hale told us that there had been changes throughout the club since his arrival.
Robert Bartlett, a first team coach at Maud, had stepped down from his position earlier that day.
Hale said online of Barlett’s departure: “We are disappointed that Robert has left the club, however, we need people on board who will not only give us, but give the squad, 100% commitment, and, with Robert still currently running his amateur side, he could not fulfil his responsibilities at the club and both parties felt it was for the best if he stepped down. On behalf of everyone at Maud JFC, I would like to thank Robert for his efforts over the last couple of months and we wish him well for the future.”
Maud would go on to ship seven goals to Deveronvale, but Hale was positive about his sides future chances, showing no signs of the move away from Highland League football.
He said he was “really enjoying” his time at Maud.
“The three of us (Allan Hale, Gary Mann, and Gavin Wemyss - the management team at Maud) work well together and bounce ideas off each other.
“It has certainly been an eye opener that’s for sure as there are constant phone calls, text messages and there is always something still to do or organise, so that has been the most challenging part. With regards to the coaching side I am really enjoying coaching again so I have found that transition easier.”
Hale added: “We have also signed twelve new players as we felt the club needed a freshness about the place and we have introduced that to the club with Mikey Rae doing a great job as captain with the banter in the changing room. The lads have that desire to go out there and give their all for the team which was missing when we first arrived.”
Current holders of the Grill Cup, Hale says he wants to retain the trophy and improve Maud’s league position, but said: “Longer term, we aim to build a squad that will challenge for the Superleague. the winners of the Superleague now play in the Scottish Cup so that should be a great incentive for the players to go and achieve that.”
Maud host Culter in their first game of the Superleague on August 18.