Gill says fresh blood needed to take Kinlochshiel forward

Johnston Gill won’t be carrying on as manager of Kinlochshiel next season, he confirmed this week.

After a stint as joint manager with Keith Loades, Gill took sole charge of the Shiel first team in 2011. In his first season he led them to success in North Division One — winning all of their league matches in the process — and earning promotion to the Premier Division. Following a relatively-successful 2012 season, and a mid-table finish, Shiel closed their 2013 campaign in third-bottom spot in the Orion Premiership, above Fort William and Oban Camanachd both of whom drop down into the new national first division next year.

“There’s a good foundation there to build on,” Gill said this week. “We blooded six or seven players against Inveraray in our last match of the season. But I just think maybe the club needs a bit of a push — someone a bit younger, fresher, to take us up the league.”

It was not his position to suggest potential successors — that would be up to the club at the AGM in the last week in November. “But I would say there are two or three candidates any one of whom would be capable of taking the club forward,” he added.

Skye, meanwhile, continue to hunt for a first team manager following the decision by Willie MacRae to step down. The club remain keen to confirm an appointment ahead of their annual general meeting next month.

One man who does hope to stay in position for next season is Lochcarron’s Kenny “Duffy” Murray.

Murray and Gregor Cushnie took charge at Battery Park at the start of the 2013 season following the club’s decision to drop to a single team in North Division Three. Lochcarron finished the year as runners-up in the division, and they also reached the final of the Sutherland Cup in which they lost put to Ballachulish.

Murray said: “Our AGM is on the 7th of November, and we will discuss the position then, but we are hoping to carry on. We’ve enjoyed it and the club has made progress this year.”