Ahead of this weekend’s big ALVANCE BA Balliemore Cup final we sat down with Beauly coaches Gregor and Niall. Check it out below….

Gregor, Niall, a huge match for Beauly this weekend in the ALVANCE British Aluminium Balliemore Cup Final. How have preparations gone for the game?

All the boys have put in a lot of effort into training this year and so it is great that their hard work has been rewarded by appearing in this year’s final. Whilst we would have liked a few more competitive games in the lead up to the final, we have prepared in the same way as we have throughout the season. Our approach to this game will be no different. Training has gone well this week and we have some healthy competition for places in our final squad and starting line-up. Everyone linked with the club is really looking forward to the game.

A really positive result on Saturday against Bute to get here, how much confidence are you taking from that going into the final?

Bute were a very young side and the result maybe reflected that in the final score. The pleasing thing for ourselves was that we had some well worked goals and that the boys took their chances when they got the opportunity. However, all credit to Bute as they came out in 2nd half and defended really well. Whilst always good to get a few goals, Skye will have a much more experienced team and so we are not reading too much into the Bute result.  The main thing was that the boys had a good run out ahead of the final and that we had no players pick up any niggling injuries.

Skye have proven a tough nut to crack this year holding the likes of Lovat and Kinlochshiel to 0-0 over 90 minutes, how can Beauly break down this strong defence?

Skye without question are an excellent side who have shown this season that they are a force to be reckoned with. They have an envious goal tally and as you rightly say a powerful, strong defence. Any team that can hold Lovat and this year’s Camanachd Cup winners Kinlochshiel to 0-0 after 90mins deserves a lot of credit and respect. They have a lot of players with Premier league experience across the pitch and so we will certainly have our work cut out for us. We will hopefully be able to let you know after the game how we intend to break them down!

We have seen a handful of younger guys break into Beauly’s 1st team this season – firstly, what does that say about Beauly’s youth system and secondly, do you think they will be able to stand up to the pressure of such an important match?

In recent years, the club has placed a strong emphasis on the youth team’s and it is great to see a number of our talented young players now pushing for and securing places in the 1st team squad this season. We will have five of our U17 squad travelling down on Saturday. None of these players would be involved if we felt they couldn’t look after themselves and perform at this level. As to whether they will stand up to the pressure only time will tell but based upon their performances already this season we have no doubts at all.  Main thing as far as we are concerned is that all our young players simply enjoy and learn from the experience of playing in the final. They certainly wont be criticised if things don’t go our way.

What do you make of this Skye side – what are their strengths?

Skye have a lot of experience in their team and have a lot of talented individuals in all areas of the pitch. We have not played Skye ourselves for a number of years and so we don’t have that first-hand experience of playing against them. However, from watching highlights of their semi-final game against Inveraray, they appear to be a very fit and well organised side. The Mackinnon brothers, Ross and William, have trained with ourselve’s on occasion this season where they have impressed with their fitness and skill. Sorley Macdonald is another who appears to have made a huge impact on his return to the side as he seems to be on the scoresheet most weeks. As mentioned already, their defensive record speaks for itself.  We are in no doubt we will be facing a very strong and competitive Skye team.

An interview with Skye Manager Kenny MacLeod will follow.