This weekend high flying Skye take on the champions Kingussie in the Mowi Premiership. Outside of the league, the two teams met 10 months ago in the MacTavish Cup Final with Kings picking up a narrow win. We caught up with Skye Captain John Gillies to preview this weekend’s game.

John, you welcome the champions on Saturday, what kind of match are you expecting?

It’s the same as always when welcoming Kingussie. It’s going to be a tough game as they are the best team in the country at the moment and always have goals in their team which this year has been boosted by the return of Dylan Borthwick.

Do you think that you could capitalise on a bit of fatigue given they played 120 minutes on Saturday and you guys were free?

Some people might say that but Kingussie are a fit side, I don’t think it will affect them for this upcoming week. For us we have had a good start to the season and had a bit of momentum going but this gave us an extra week to get boys back returning from niggles.

Considering that Jordan Murchison isn’t playing this year and the loss of players like James Pringle, are you surprised by how well you have started 2024?

I wouldn’t say I’m surprised as we have a strong squad and we have added additions which have allowed us to have more options in how we can change things throughout a game. The improvement in the second team has also helped as they’re all itching at the chance in the first team which is adding competition for places, which is always healthy.

Last season, Kingussie narrowly denied you the chance to lift a trophy, winning 1-0 in the MacTavish Cup Final, is that in the past now – or is this a chance to get some revenge?

It’s in the past, it was an experience that we learned from and want to be in more senior finals, but we’re focusing on this year and how we can better ourselves, individually and collectively. One of our main aims is making Skye a tough place to go for any team and we have achieved that well so far this season, hopefully on Saturday it will continue.

Finally, on a personal level, it was a good season last time out, staying in the Mowi Premiership after promotion, Captaining Skye in a cup final and then your first Scotland call up. What are your goals for this campaign?

I never really set myself individual goals, I think it’s trying to improve on the previous year. It would be great to achieve another cap but most importantly the aim is to win a major for Skye, which hopefully will be this season, then improve again next.