Duncan Cameron, shinty's new president-elect, admitted last night he faces a major test in steering Scotland's oldest native sport into peaceful waters.

Over the next few weeks, the fans will discover how willing the current board are to work with a man who was highly critical of its leadership last year, accusing them of stumbling into one crisis after another.

In his first interview since being elected to replace John Mackenzie, Cameron acknowledges it will take everything in his strategic box of tricks to get everyone pulling together with a unified vision to change.

Last weekend's vote for the Glasgow Mid Argyll stalwart over current director Donnie MacKenzie was a clear indication that the sport's grass roots are not satisfied with the status quo.

A feeling of distance between the clubs and the administrators has refused to dissipate, despite the board surviving a vote of no confidence last year. This is one of the fundamental issues Cameron hopes to address.

One of the conundrums he faces, though, is that the remarks he made helped fuel the very fire he hopes to dampen.

"Obviously, it remains to be seen how people will feel about working with me. It's something I have been asked about," admits the experienced administrator.

"At the time, the board made noises suggesting some of the things I was saying would be looked at. That's why I need to spend time chatting with people. I have to develop a strategy to enable the board to see the position. We need a debate and maybe we will then arrive at a compromise position.

"One of the reasons I decided to stand was that, at the Camanachd Cup final, I had so many people come up to me and say, By the way, what you were saying last year, it was right'.

"I have had lots of encouragement but there have been times when I've thought, what the hell have I let myself in for, because expectations are so high.

"What I will say is that it's a three-year term. By the end of that, a mechanism will be in place so clubs are involved in decisions."

Cameron, husband of Glasgow's former lady provost, Liz Cameron, has already served time as association president and was part of the steering group established to reform the sport's governing structure to a company limited by guarantee.

In his opinion, what was delivered was not the vision members voted for and his open letter to the board last year accused them of failing to fulfil promises by taking major decisions without consulting committees.

He reacted with dismay at the director's decision to move the sport's HQ to Inverness without talking to the membership, an issue which sparked near mutiny in the south.

In the end, officials removed Cameron's letter from the web-site and closed the guest book, with a special general meeting called.

Now Cameron must use all his political wiles to get those same directors pulling with him, something he will not shy away from.

"My name went forward on the basis of people wanting change.

"From a distance, I would say the board has focused on the mechanism of management while the clubs expect it to be about shinty, and there is a difference.

"I think that, after two years of focusing on management, from now on it should be about the game. Perhaps last year there was an over-reaction in terms of directors' responsibilities. Many of the board saw themselves responsible as a company, a bit like a blue-chip company on the Stock Exchange.

"What has to be realised is that their customers are the clubs and without them there wouldn't be a company."

So has the governing model he advocated himself been a disaster?

"Yes and no. It hasn't been a complete failure. The thing about speeding up decisions is that you have to take the people with you."

When a full ratification of his post comes at the agm, Cameron wants a debate on fixtures and perhaps a reduction in cup competitions.

Until then, there may still be a few fights to win.