There was a time, perhaps as little as a month ago, when I had what I felt were real, credible, fears about the prospects of Ross County F.C. for the 2014-2015 season. A raft of players had been let go by the club- and understandably so- and only a few had been brought into the club. It just seemed like there were too many holes in the squad to fill in such a short time. Let me be more specific about that last statement- it seemed as though there was not enough time to fill the holes in the squad with quality players.
There were plenty of rumors about players the club was pursuing and players who had been spotted in the area, there were “wish lists” posted online of players that individual supporters would like to see the club bring in, and, of course, there were the rumors about how somebody’s cousin’s girlfriend once babysat for a taxi driver who SWEARS he dropped off Lionel Messi at Jubilee Road just yesterday. But the truth of it was that in terms of actual developments, nothing appeared to be happening.
Now, here we are, only for days before the season kicks off and we might be looking at the best assemblage of players the club has put together in their short time in the Scottish Premiership and, all things being equal, maybe the best squad- top to bottom- that has ever collectively pulled on the dark blue tops of Ross County F.C.. It’s not just that Derek and George Adams and co. got a couple of big things “right,” they appear to have gotten it ALL right. Yes, only time will tell about that last part, but look:
Short of bringing back Evangelos Oikonomou and/or Yann Songo’o, could this roster be any better? Graham Carey, one of the club’s best players and once thought a lost cause, is back. Melvin, de Leeuw, who surely could have been sold at a tidy profit during the close season, is still with the club. Yoann Arquin asked for and received a contract extension with the club. Antonio Reguero, no worse than a upgrade over Michael Fraser (who dropped from the 7th place team in the Premiership to the second worst team in all of Scottish league football). Tim Dreesen, an experienced professional in two leagues which are more or less on par with the Premiership. Jordi Balk, who looks set to walk right into the first team. Liam Boyce, whose history (albeit at a lower level) and play in the preseason suggests that he might be the club’s first “goal scorer” since the days of Andrew Barrowman and Colin McMenamin. And lastly, Filip Kiss. A player that supporters last year were resigned to never seeing again because he was a level above both the club and the league has decided that, even in the face of other offers from “Down South, ” Ross County is the place for him. We’ll take the compliment, Filip, and welcome back!*
Sure, there are still some questions: Is Uros Celcer good enough? Can Jim Fenlon balance his desire to move forward with his defensive responsibilities? When is it finally going to “happen” for Marc Klok…or for Darren Maatsen? Is Jake Jervis just this year’s version of Steffen Wohlfarth, Sam Morrow, Kurtis Byrne
Of this group Tony Dingwall has already seen some first team action and new signings Frempah and Latouchent could very well find themselves in the first team squad on occasion before the season is through.
It’s all just “potential” right now, but this could be a really exciting season!!
*And don’t forget the possible return of Stuart Kettlewell from injury!