You may remember that following the flurry of January transfer signings at Ross County four players on the County roster were told that they were “free to leave” the club. While that may have sounded a bit drastic, what it meant in reality was that if the players could find clubs to take them on loan they could remain on the County books, get some regular minutes, and, presumably, give it another go with the parent club over the summer in preparation for the 2014-2015 campaign. In the days since the announcement two of the four players have, in fact, found themselves temporary footballing homes and that a third has been on trial with another club.
Ross County youth academy product Steven Ross has returned to Highland League outfit Brora Rangers F.C. for the second time in three years. Brora, who lead the Highland League despite having played as many as four fewer matches than the clubs trailing them, appear to be positioning themselves for next season when the winner of the league could very well find itself promoted to league football. Whether Ross will remain with Brora beyond the spring remains to be seen, but if he gets enough minutes and does well enough with them it appears to be a “no lose” situation for the young man: he returns to County a better, more experienced player, or he remains with a club who are “on the up.” Ross will join several former County players at Brora, including his recent teammate Grant Munro.
Dutch forward Kevin Luckassen has recently appeared as a trialist in an Atlantic Cup match for top flight Czech side FC Slovan Liberec in which he scored what turned out to be the winning goal against Danish side FC Midtjylland. Despite the help of Google Translate I have been unable to determine whether it is Luckassen’s intent to go out on loan to Liberc or if he is looking for a permanent transfer. UEFA ranks the Czech League the 11th best in Europe to the Scottish Premiership’s 26th and Liberc are just three points out of third place (and a Europa League spot) so I find it hard to believe that if he couldn’t break into the team at Ross County he’ll be able to do it in Liberc.
The Buchan Observer reported today that another of County’s players, midfielder Marc Klok, will be joining League Two side Peterhead F.C. on a one month “emergency loan” to fill the spot opened up when Peterhead’s Dean Cowie broke his foot last week. Of the players told they were free to leave the club Klok appears to be the one who is closest to finding his way into the side (or at least the substitute’s bench) so it would make sense that he would be sent out on a short term loan, though it appears that provisions have been discussed to extend the loan if Klok prospers with the Blue Toon. In joining Peterhead Klok will join a long line of County players who have been sent to Balmoor for a bit of seasoning.
UPDATE: Reports are now circulating that there has been a snag in Klok’s loan to Peterhead and that the loan deal appears to be off.
Which brings us to Darren Maatsen, about whom there is no news at present. The speedy winger appeared in 11 matches in all competitions during the first half of the season, scoring a “Goal of the Week” against Celtic. He last took the field on December 29 in a loss to Aberdeen, but he has not played or even made the match day roster since then. Maatsen certainly showed some ability during his limited playing time, but it may be the case that this faster, more technical approach to the game is not suited to the more physical style being played by Ross County at the moment. If only he’d been with the club during the “style and panache” days…
Updates as they occur.