Forres Mechanics star wins Highland League young player award - now he wants a title
FORRES Mechanics flyer Andy Macrae has won the Highland League young player of the year for the second season running.
But the 21-year-old has another prize in his sights – winning the league championship with the Cans.
With Cove Rangers promoted to League 2 next season, Macrae believes next year’s title chase will have a few contenders and he sees no reason why Mechanics can’t be one of them.
If the former Caley Thistle attacker can maintain his scoring form, matched by club captain Stuart Soane and the return of Lee Fraser mid-season, Forres can be in the mix.
“A top-four finish is probably realistically what we are looking for,” he said.
“But you are always wanting to win the league and you just never know what can happen.
“With Cove gone it’s the best of the rest and hopefully we can get that.”
It’s a notable achievement for Macrae to pick up the league’s young player accolade in both of his campaigns at Mechanics so far. He won it in 2017-18 while on loan from Caley Jags, who then released him to pave the way for a permanent switch to Forres.
Macrae paid the Cans’ faith in him by firing home 25 goals last term as part of a deadly partnership with Soane. The Inverness lad even made a cheeky claim to Mechanics’ top goalscorer award despite records showing both he and ‘Soaney’ netted 25.
“We both claimed a goal against Fort William in the last game to move on to 25, but it said on the Fort William Twitter that his was an own goal. So technically I think I got 25 and he only got 24!” he said.
Macrae was thrilled to retain his crown and felt his season just got better and better.
“It kind of kicked on from last season and that’s what kept me going. I kept the momentum going. I was setting small targets throughout the season,” he said.
“The first target was double figures and I think I hit that in the first ten games and I kept going from there. I was just delighted to get to 25 goals and playing well and I think that got me recognised for the young player of the year again.
“That’s the last year I can win it now. I’m 21 now and it was on my birthday that I found out I had won it when it was in the paper.”
On his half-century goal partnership with Soane, Macrae added: “We have a good understanding. It’s just a lot easier playing with him because he knows the way I play and I know how he plays.
“You often find at the top level, the best striking partners are a big guy and a small guy where the small guy normally feeds the big guy. It’s good that we’ve kind of got that chemistry.
“I don’t know how many assists I got but I don’t think it would be far off 25 as well. As much as I like scoring goals I don’t mind assisting and kind of get more joy assisting a goal than scoring, especially if it’s a winner.”