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Brora on cusp of historic first title

Brora Rangers travel to Keith today requiring one more victory to be crowned league champions for the first time in their 135-year existence.

Their manager, David Kirkwood, the former Rangers and Ross County coach, has masterminded an incredible squad-building process at Dudgeon Park over the last two years and, with the dedicated backing of the locally born entrepreneur Ben Mackay, a compact but highly-talented group have been assembled.

Big-name captures were the former Inverness Caledonian Thistle and Ross County trio Grant Munro, Ross Tokely and Richie Hart while Joe Malin, Andy Greig, Gavin Morrison, Dale Gillespie, Steven Mackay and Zander Sutherland were others with a rich Scottish league pedigree.

Beating a team they trounced 9-0 only a couple of months ago would secure the title but Kirkwood, in a way typical of those on the cusp of success, was "being cautious".

The former Raith Rovers player said: "It's a chance to finish the job, but only that. The Keith game is not a foregone conclusion; we still have to go there and win. There will still be a hard challenge from Keith. Nobody wants another team coming to their ground and winning the championship. We should be strong enough, but we have a job to do."

Brora have captured just four trophies in their history, including this season's North of Scotland Cup.

Kirkwood has guided his side to 26 wins from 29 games in the league, drawing twice and losing only once.Their dominance is borne out by the statistics: 106 goals scored, 13 conceded, and all with a very tight squad

"I think we have only used 16 or 17 players all season and that's incredible in the Highland League," said Kirkwood. "Everybody thinks we have this huge squad of players, but we haven't."

A proud Kirkwood commended the players for their efforts and energy. "This season has been a continuation of the form we showed from March last year. In all, we've lost just two games in the league since then. The thing is, we have such a small squad and the goals come from everywhere. That's the pleasing factor. We have five players among the top 20 scorers in the league. That tells its own story."

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