There were two items of note on the BBC’s Scottish Football website today, both of which reflected well on Ross County F.C.. First, in a piece entitled Six Stars to Light up Scottish Premier League Ross County’s Iain Vigurs was one of the six pages chosen. For several years Vigurs has been one of two players (the other being the recently departed Michael Gardyne) tipped by pundits as the most “SPL-ready” of Ross County’s players. The County midfielder is only 24 but already has almost 200 professional matches under his belt and he seems poised to break out as County make their SPL debut this season. It’s also worth noting that another of the players on the list is Dundee United F.C.’s winger Gary Mackay-Steven, a player who was groomed in Ross County’s much heralded youth program before what turned out to be an ill-fated transfer to Liverpool.
In another article on the site, Hamilton manager Billy Reid had only positive things to say about Ross County’s ability to avoid an immediate return to the Scottish Football League’s First Division:
They have a tight-knit group up there and they did fantastically well to run away with the league last season. Falkirk and ourselves relied on young players, but Ross County have players with experience. No single player is a stand-out, but they benefit from great solidity. They are in the Premier League on merit and, with the experience and strength in depth they have, they should be good enough.
These words are especially kind given that the last time Hamilton and Ross County met the Accies were on the wrong end of a 5-1 pasting. Still, given the way County dominated the First Division last season and with almost 75% of promoted teams managing to avoid immediate relegation over the past few years, there’s a very good chance that he’s right. Added to the fact that there will be one less Old Firm club to face it appears that County might be able to set their sights a little higher than simply “avoiding the drop” in 2012-2013.