Ross County ready for Scotland's top-flight

Ross County's general manager Ranald Gilbert insists the club is ready for life in the Scottish Premier League after meeting admission criteria.

County will join Scotland's top-flight in August, starting their campaign with a visit from Motherwell.

"It's been a huge effort for us," said Gilbert.

"We've upgraded to a 6,000 all-seater stadium. We've had to install seats in terracing behind both goals and we've had an extension to the East Stand."

The Highland side were founded in 1929 and were promoted to the Scottish Football League Third Division in 1994 then won promotion to the Second Division in 1999.

It was another 13 years before they reached Scotland's top league by winning the First Division title on 10 April when their nearest rival to the title, Dundee, failed to beat Queen of the South.

And Gilbert believes the club has now done everything required of it to make the grade in the top-flight, but are aware of the task ahead.

"We've had the pitch dug up and undersoil heating and sprinklers installed," said Gilbert.

"It's been a busy old time and that's before we start to look behind the scenes - the press facilities, dressing rooms and so on.

"We've been very fortunate in the last few years. Our manager Derek Adams has been successful in the league and the cups.

"We've had a taste of it. It's a big boost to the whole town and indeed the whole of the Highlands and Islands.

"There is huge amount of work still to do but there is a will among everyone to make sure that whatever it takes we give it our very best shot.

"The jump from the First Division to the SPL, although it's one tier of football, it feels like it's going up 10 levels."

Meanwhile, the club's captain Richard Brittain says he hopes County can last the pace with Scottish football's big boys, but admits it will be a big step from the Scottish Football League.

"We're all geared towards the SPL and hopefully we'll give a good account of ourselves," said Brittain.

"No disrespect to the lower leagues, but there are a lot of internationals playing in the SPL, playing in front of full houses and in different stadiums. It's a variety of things.

"It spurs you on. When you come up against a better player you raise your game.

"We'll have to do that in every game we play. If not we'll lose more games than we'll win.

"The opener against Motherwell will be a memorable occasion, our first game in the SPL.

"Hopefully there will be a full house and we can put in a performance. It will be difficult but we've got to look forward to it."

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