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Suffolk-raised Josh Meekings on winning two cups in 2022 as player-coach at Highland League club Brora Rangers

Josh Meekings wants to build on a trophy-laden year at Brora Rangers with a push for promotion during the second half of the 2022/23 season.

The Haverhill schoolboy has enjoyed a successful first 18 months at Dudgeon Park, winning the Highland League Cup and North of Scotland Cup as a player-coach.

Brora currently sit third in the Breedon Highland League, the fifth tier of Scottish football, with back-to-back derbies against Wick Academy at home (December 27) and away (January 3) to book end their year.

Suffolk-raised Josh Meekings has spent the last 18 months back in the Highlands Picture: Brora Rangers
Suffolk-raised Josh Meekings has spent the last 18 months back in the Highlands Picture: Brora Rangers

Meekings, who was born in Bury St Edmunds and raised in Cavendish, previously played in the Scottish Premiership for Inverness Caledonian Thistle and Dundee, and believes their cup success in 2022 can be a platform for the club to progress up the pyramid.

“That’s something we’ve been looking to try and achieve,” the 30-year-old said. “We unfortunately went out to Banks o’ Dee in the League Cup on penalties, so we’re out of that cup this season.

“But last year we won that and this season we’ve won the North of Scotland Cup.

“It’s nice to pick up some form of silverware. The club has got ambitions to go up and I think winning cups builds momentum.

“We love having a cup run, whether that’s in a small cup or a big cup, you’re winning trophies and that’s all that matters at the end of the day.

“I think it’s important. It’s good for our younger players to get that mindset and get in the habit of winning things. It can only be beneficial in the long run for the club.”

Meekings joined Brora in June 2021 on a three-year deal and a few months later was added to the club’s management team, and is currently completing his UEFA B Licence, with an assessment set for April 2023.

“I am enjoying it,” he said. “Obviously I do miss my parents and my family. It’s been a long time away from home and I didn’t envisage myself staying up here, but that’s just what happens. You have to do things for your family.

“I’ve got my assessment for my B Licence in April and that’ll be interesting to see if any opportunities come from there.

“I’ve been given an opportunity with Brora where I get to coach players already. It’s been a good first 18 months back in the Highland again.

“We’re doing reasonably well this season, although we’ve had a couple of slip ups.

“We’re third at the moment, six points behind the leaders Brechin, who came down 18 months ago and they’re trying to bounce back up again.

“It’s a competitive league. The club and the owner have got ambitions to go up to League Two and to really have a go and make their way through the leagues.

“Cove Rangers are now in the Championship and they were in the Highland League a few years ago, so it has been done. It’s just obviously with the catchment area it’s a problem, particularly for Brora being so high up.”