We caught up with Newtonmore star Rory Kennedy ahead of this weekends clash with Kingussie in the cottages.com MacTavish Cup.

Rory, how do you feel about this Newtonmore team – do you think you can go all the way in the major competitions?

We’ve got a good blend of youth and experience this year and have worked really hard to get our fitness where it needs to be to compete at the top level. We still have work to do but overall, I think we’re still in a good position.

What did you make of last week’s game – seemed a tight affair?

It was a tight game and maybe quite scrappy at times with the wind playing its part. Kingussie scored at a good time and made it difficult for us to break them down.

What are you guys going to have to improve to progress?

We have to keep a clean sheet, take advantage of our periods of pressure and work their goalkeeper more.

What is it like playing such a huge match two weeks in a row – are you looking to change anything this week or is it a case of the same again?

It’s great, it’s always the first fixture you look for when the fixture list comes out and with it being a cup game this week there’s more at stake. There’s always a good crowd so hopefully both teams will put on a good show for them.

Kingussie’s forward line gets talked about a lot – as one of the best defenders in the game – how good are they?

Very good. They are young but play with a lot of maturity, play to their strengths well and work hard for each other on and off the ball.

Newtonmore are the cottages.com MacTavish Cup all time record holders with 42 – by my calculations you personally have at least 5 medals – how important is this competition both personally and to ‘more?

It’s very important as it’s the first major trophy of the year and you’re up against the best teams in the north. It’s the first senior trophy I won so there’s some great memories of that.  A good run can help build confidence and momentum early in the season and winning the cup can set the team up nicely for the rest of the year. It would be great to extend our record