Brora Rangers F.C.

Brora Rangers Football Club are a Scottish football club from the village of Brora, Sutherland, in the Highland council area of Scotland. They play in the Highland Football League, of which they have been champions three times, having won their first title in 2013–14 and successfully defended it in the 2014–15 season. They were awarded the title in the incomplete 2019–20 and 2020–21 seasons and are therefore the current title holders.

Brora Rangers
Brora Rangers Logo.png
Full nameBrora Rangers Football Club
Nickname(s)The Cattachs
Founded1879; 142 years ago (1879)
GroundDudgeon Park, Brora
Capacity4,000 (200 seated)
ChairmanWilliam Powrie
ManagerSteven Mackay
LeagueHighland League
2019–20Highland League, 1st of 17 (champions)
WebsiteClub website

They have also won the North of Scotland Cup seven times. The Highland League Cup was won by the club for the first time in 2015–16.

Nicknamed the Cattachs, Brora Rangers play at Dudgeon Park, Brora, and hold a rivalry with neighbours Wick Academy, in the Northern Derby.

HistoryEdit

Early historyEdit

Brora Rangers were founded in 1879. In 1933 they gained access to membership of the Scottish Football Association and entered the draw for the Scottish Qualifying Cup competition. They were accepted into membership of the Highland Football League in 1962.

They won the North of Scotland Qualifying Cup competition in their centenary year, 1979, when they defeated Peterhead 5–0 on 17 November after a replay at Grant Street Park, Inverness, the teams having played a goal-less draw the previous week.

History since 2013Edit

The club won their first ever Highland Football League title in the 2013–14 season after a 3–0 win against Keith on 5 March at Kynoch Park. They are the most northerly club to win the League title to date. They set several postwar Highland League records over the season: most points (95), greatest margin of victory in the league (20 points), highest win rate (31 out of 34), fewest goals conceded (16) and highest positive goal difference (+107). They ended the season with a 19-game unbeaten run which subsequently carried on into the 2014–15 season. With a draw against Fraserburgh in their 38th and final match of the year (across two seasons), Brora achieved the distinction of being unbeaten in league matches for the whole of 2014. Their unbeaten run in the Highland League eventually extended to 57 matches across three seasons, ending with a 3–0 defeat by Cove Rangers on 22 August 2015.

For the 2014–15 season, they started in the second round of the 2014–15 Scottish Cup, and they played for the first time in the 2014–15 Scottish Challenge Cup but lost in the second round to East Fife 3–2.[1] The club retained its Highland League title in the 2014–15 season, scoring a postwar record of 125 goals in a Highland League season, beating Inverness Thistle's previous postwar record of 124 in the 1969–70 season. With a record of 30 wins and 4 draws Brora ended the season as unbeaten champions, and were only the second club to complete an unbeaten season in the postwar era (following Caledonian in 1982–83). As Highland League champions, Brora entered the newly introduced promotion playoffs against Lowland League champions Edinburgh City. They won 4–2 in a penalty shootout after a 2–2 aggregate draw, with Stuart Kettlewell scoring the winner on 2 May.[2] Brora played off against Montrose, the bottom-placed club in Scottish League Two, for a place in League Two for the 2015–16 season. After winning their home leg 1–0, Brora suffered a 3–1 defeat in the away game, thereby losing 3–2 on aggregate to remain in the Highland League.[3]

The prospect of a future promotion to the national leagues has proven controversial due to the distances that players and supporters would be expected to travel to many of the away games.[4] Before the 2014–15 season began, it had been suggested that supporters would be allowed to vote on whether the club should join the Scottish Professional Football League were it to qualify for promotion.[5] However following Brora's successful defence of their Highland League title, chairman John Young said that the club had "looked at all options and there's no way we can avoid competing. We meet SPFL criteria for entry level so we can’t opt out, we’ve got to go for it." [6] Besides the impact on the club, it has been suggested that Brora itself would benefit economically from players and supporters of Southern clubs visiting the town.[7]

The 2019–20 season was curtailed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and Brora were declared Highland League champions.[8] They were due to progress to the playoffs with the Lowland League winner and the bottom club in League Two, but they were never held.[8]

On 23 March 2021 in the 2020–21 Scottish Cup, Brora recorded a significant upset by beating runaway Championship leaders and the previous season's Scottish Cup finalists, Heart of Midlothian, 2–1 at Dudgeon Park.[9][10] The result has been described as one of Scotland's biggest cup shocks of all time.[11]

For the second consecutive season, Brora were declared champions of the 2020–21 Highland Football League on a points per game formula due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The decision was announced by the Highland Football League on 30 March 2021.[12]

StadiumEdit

 
Dudgeon Park

Brora originally played at Inverbrora Park, which is now the site of the Hunters of Brora woollen mills, before moving to Dudgeon Park in 1932. The ground's capacity is 4,000, including 200 seats. The record attendance was set in 2013 when over 2,000 people watched Brora play Rangers in a friendly match.

Management teamEdit

Corporate staffEdit

Position Name
Chairman William Powrie
Vice-Chair/Treasurer Deirdre MacKay
Hon President John Young
Director David Dowling
Director Dennis Bridgeford
Club Secretary Kevin MacKay

[13]

Coaching staffEdit

Position Name
Manager Steven Mackay
Assistant Manager Craig Campbell
Coach David Hind
Coach Mark McKernie
Physio Steven Sutherland

[14]

Current squadEdit

As of 25 Jan 2021[15]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
GK   SCO Joe Malin
GK   SCO Grant Beattie
GK   SCO Jamie Stephenson
DF   SCO Millar Gamble
DF   SCO Tom Kelly
DF   SCO Ally MacDonald
DF   SCO Colin MacRae
DF   SCO Mark Nicolson
DF   SCO John Pickles
DF   SCO Colin Williamson
MF   SCO Dale Gillespie
MF   SCO Neil MacDonald
No. Pos. Nation Player
MF   SCO Adam MacKinnon
MF   SCO Martin MacLean
MF   NED Bjorn Wagenaar
FW   SCO Paul Brindle
FW   SCO Craig Campbell
FW   SCO Niall Docherty
FW   SCO Gregor MacDonald
FW   SCO Andrew MacRae
FW   SCO Jordan MacRae
FW   SCO Greg Morrison
FW   SCO Alisdair Sutherland

HonoursEdit

Highland Football League:

League Cup:

  • 2015–16

North of Scotland Cup:

  • 1980–81, 1990–91, 2013–14, 2014–15, 2016–17, 2017–18, 2019–20

Inverness Cup:

  • 1994–95

Scottish Qualifying Cup (North):

  • 1979–80

*Awarded following a vote of the league's member clubs. Seasons 2019–20 and 2020–21 were incomplete due to the coronavirus pandemic.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Brora Rangers 2–3 East Fife". BBC Sport. BBC. Retrieved 16 May 2015.
  2. ^ "Brora Rangers 1–1 Edinburgh City (agg 2–2, 4–2 pens)". BBC Sport. BBC. 2 May 2015. Retrieved 10 May 2015.
  3. ^ "Montrose 3–1 Brora". BBC Sport. 16 May 2015. Retrieved 16 May 2015.
  4. ^ "Scottish football: Promotion an option for Highland and Lowland League sides this season | Football News". Skysports.com. 5 July 2014. Retrieved 16 May 2015.
  5. ^ "Brora Rangers to let fans decide over potential SPFL participation | League 2". Sport.stv.tv. 29 July 2014. Retrieved 16 May 2015.
  6. ^ "Brora Rangers chairman John Young on SPFL play-off despite finance fears | League 2". Sport.stv.tv. 30 March 2015. Retrieved 16 May 2015.
  7. ^ "Brora go marching on | Northern Times | Sport | Football". Northern-times.co.uk. 9 September 2014. Retrieved 16 May 2015.
  8. ^ a b Smith, Tyrone (21 March 2020). "Highland League brought to an early end with Brora Rangers awarded title". BBC Sport. BBC. Retrieved 21 March 2020.
  9. ^ "Brora Rangers 2–1 Heart of Midlothian". BBC Sport. 23 March 2021.
  10. ^ "Brora Rangers 2-1 Hearts: Highland League champions knock Hearts out of Scottish Cup". Sky Sports. 23 March 2021. Retrieved 24 March 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  11. ^ "Brora Rangers join list of Scottish Cup giant killers with win over Hearts". bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 30 March 2021.
  12. ^ "Brora & Kelty Hearts declared champions". BBC Sport. Retrieved 9 May 2021.
  13. ^ "Board & Committee – Brora Rangers Football Club". Retrieved 29 January 2021.
  14. ^ "Managerial Team – Brora Rangers Football Club". Retrieved 29 January 2021.
  15. ^ "Brora Rangers Squad". ESPN.

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 58°00′29″N 3°51′29″W / 58.00813°N 3.858143°W / 58.00813; -3.858143