Youth is the focus for Stags’ season

Stags are looking forward to the new season
Stags are looking forward to the new season

Grangemouth Stags will commence their league campaign on Saturday when they travel to Dundee for a match against Harris Academy FP.

The Glensburgh club are one of the favourites for the Caledonia 2 Midland title, having went agonisingly close to promotion last season only to see their challenge falter in the final two matches.

Leagure reconstruction means that there’s only automatic promotion place up for grabs this season, but Director of Rugby Gordon Crossan told Heraldsport that securing promotion this time round is not the foremost issue on the club’s mind.

“We have a strong squad of players and we expect the first XV to be competitive and be around the top end of the league.

“But the focus this season is the development of young players in the club - and if that’s to the detriment of promotion, so be it.

“Our goal is to bring through these players and have strength in depth at every level of the club.

“Our second XV will be competiting in an organised league for the first time this season, just one division below the firsts, which is an indication of just how many talented players we have at the club.”

Grangemouth are missing several key players for Saturday’s game due to a combination of absences and injuries.

“It’s going to be a tough start to the campaign,” added Crossan. “Harris play on a very tight pitch, and have a strong side.

Meanwhile, the second XV begin their league campaign away to Bridgehaugh on Saturday.