Brora Rangers dispelling rumours about promotion - Davie Kirkwood

Brora Rangers manager Davie Kirkwood says his side are "fired up" for Montrose trip
Brora Rangers manager Davie Kirkwood says his side are "fired up" for Montrose trip

Brora Rangers manager Davie Kirkwood insists his side have dispelled talk about them not wanting promotion with their performances on the pitch.

The Highland League outfit travel to Montrose holding a 1-0 first leg lead in their SPFL pyramid play-off final.

"These players are desperate to go up. These guys on Saturday will definitely give their all," said Kirkwood.

"When you're a manager you want to play in as high a league as possible and you want to take your players with you."

Brora's chairman John Young said the majority of Highland League clubs were "concerned" about the prospect of promotion, leading to suggestions the team did not want to go up to Scottish League Two.

"We started off about two and a half years ago with a three-year plan to just go and compete at a high level in the Highland League," Kirkwood told BBC Scotland.

"And, within those years, we've won the league twice, won the North of Scotland Cup twice, had good runs in the Scottish Cup and now we're on the brink of history and reaching the professional leagues.

"I don't think you can ask any more than that."

The Dudgeon Park side have the advantage in the tie after Steven Mackay's seventh-minute effort went in off visiting defender Marvin Andrews.

Kirkwood said: "It's just like any other game we've played in this season. It's the ultimate one, don't get me wrong.

"The players are fired up for it and they're raring to go.

"We've had such a great journey over the last two years. I don't want that to stop.

"They know they are in the driving seat. They know they can handle the pressure, so it is a great feeling as a football player."

Brora Rangers took on Rangers in a pre-season friendly last summer
Brora Rangers took on Rangers in a pre-season friendly last summer

Midfielder Stuart Kettlewell said the pressure is on Montrose, with Brora the on-form side having lost just once in 68 games.

"The club has definitely surpassed all expectations over the last couple of years," he said.

"It is a great achievement winning the league two years in a row and obviously now being involved in the play-offs.

"It is a fantastic record at any level. It doesn't matter whether it's Highland League or Premier League.

"It's been mentioned about Brora spending a lot of money, but I don't think Brora have spent as much as some of the other Highland League clubs.

"The fact we won a penalty shoot-out against Edinburgh City and are 1-0 up against Montrose, I think that tells you in itself what everyone's thinking.

"The pressure is massively off. I think Montrose are still favourites. I spoke to a couple of their guys last week and they're comfortable with their surroundings.

"I think they'll be very confident. They are in the leagues above us, so I still they'll go in as favourites in this game."

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