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Highland League Stars Join Amateur Ranks

Report by Andy McLaren

Two former Highland League veterans today admitted winning silverware in the Amateur leagues would be a special end to the duo’s successful careers.

Former Deveronvale player Robbie Brown and Inverurie Locos defender Richie Singer have recently signed for Amateur champions Sportsmans.

Robbie spent 10 years at Vale and was an inspirational figure at the club, winning two Highland League titles in 2003 and 2006 before lifting the Aberdeenshire cup in 2007.

The 34-year-old recently joined Sportsmans from Junior champions Culter, having previously spent two seasons with Buckie Thistle.

And Robbie, who also spent three years at Aberdeen, admits he is still hungry to play competitive football despite his advancing years.

He said: “Findon is very close to where I live so joining Sportsmans was a formality.
“I didn’t want to join an Amateur team where I was guaranteed to play every week.

“I left Culter because I couldn’t commit to training so the plan was to retire at the end of last season.

“The standard has been much higher than I expected and the teams in the league take their football very seriously.

“It gave me an added boost when I heard former Highland League players such as Richie Singer and Barry Somers were at the club.

“Hopefully we can win some silverware this season and my experience, along with Richie’s, can benefit the team throughout this campaign.”

Sportsmans have been the dominant team in Amateur football so far this season and were on a 24 match winning run before finally losing to Hazlehead United on Saturday.

The Findon outfit were promoted to the Premier Division in 2009 after winning Division One (North).

A year later, the Aberdeenshire side lifted the North of Scotland Cup for the first time before being crowned Premier Division champions last term.

Richie played with Robbie at Deveronvale for three seasons before moving their separate ways.

The Highland League veteran then spent 7 seasons at Inverurie Locos before moving to Formartine and Highland League champions Cove Rangers.

Singer has already scored 4 goals for his new club after joining the Premier Division champions in July.

And the former Locos ace, who convinced Robbie to join Sportsmans last month, believes the Amateur leagues is the perfect way to round-off a memorable career.

“I was glad when Robbie joined the club as it will give us added strength going into the winter months,” said Richie.

“I have always wanted to be at a relaxed club and to play with my friends for the last couple of seasons in football.

“Winning the Highland League with Cove Rangers last season meant I had won the full set of medals so it was time to move on.

“I found myself sitting about the house during pre-season and I had enough of it so I decided to get back into playing again.

“A lot of guys may think Amateur clubs mess about and don’t take what they do seriously but it’s totally the opposite from that.

“I have enjoyed the games I have been involved in and I’m confident we can have another special season this time around.”