This week Ross County F.C. announced its first moves in creating the roster of players which will compete in the 2013-2014 Scottish Premier League, County’s second in the Scottish top flight. The long and short of it are that forward Sam Morrow and defender Archie MacPhee will not be offered new contracts. In both cases the players have done nothing “wrong,” they are simply victims of a numbers game.
Morrow, who has been with the club since 2011 and arguably had his best season in Dingwall in 2012-2013. Morrow is a target forward whose job has been to graft hard, create chances for the other forwards, and chip in with the occasional goal (he’s scored 6 in 32 matches for the club). Unfortunately for Morrow, January signing Steffen Wohlfarth has proven adept at all of these tasks and he also looks like scoring every time he has possession of the ball- he already has 3 goals in his first 11 matches for the club. Again, it’s nothing against Morrow, but when there’s somebody else at the club who does your job better and brings a few other skills to the party, you become “surplus” to requirements. If he stays in Scotland Morrow should have no problem latching on with a First Division side and being a regular starter, but this is not something that was going to happen with and SPL side and that’s what Ross County is now.
In MacPhee’s case, he’s become a victim of the SPL rules. The SPL requires each club to have a specific number of U21 players on its matchday roster and if a player is on that roster, the club must be confident that he can help the cause when called upon. In MacPhee’s case, he will turn 21 this year, making him ineligible for the club’s U20 team, so there is no longer anywhere but the senior side to “stash” him until it is felt that he can make a contribution to the team. In short, the club feels that there are other U21 players who are more likely to contribute to the senior side and thus they have been forced to “fish or cut bait” regarding MacPhee and “cutting bait” is the choice they’ve made. Like Morrow, MacPhee should have no problem dropping down a division or two, getting regular playing time, and, one hopes, working his way back up the divisions.
The current Ross County F.C. roster with these changes noted as well as any other pertinent information as I know it:
I have not noted it if I could not confirm it, but almost all of this year’s players will see their contracts expire at the end of the season.
It should be noted that Ross County manager has stated publicly that it is his intention to re-sign as many of this years players as possible- except Morrow and MacPhee, of course!