Ross County F.C. had their final pre-season match today (a 0-2 loss to Dutch Eredivisie side N.E.C.) during which two new players were introduced to the home support, one a loanee, the other a trials. Let’s take a look!
First up is goalkeeper Daniel Bachmann. The 6′ 3″ Austrian U21 player began his career with Austrian Wien in his native country before being scooped up by Premier League side Stoke City F.C.. Since signing with the Potters Bachmann has been loaned out to Wrexham F.C. in the Conference Premier last season. Bachmann, age 21, is considered to have a bright future with Stoke and will be at County on a sixth month loan. To me this appears to be a perfect signing. Bachmann is clearly hungry to prove that he has a future in both the Premier League and on the Austrian National Team and that should give him all the reason in the world to push Scott Fox (who is trying to return to the international stage as well) for the top spot between the stick for County.
The other trialist on the roster today was Croatian forward Andrej Keric. The 29 year old native of Vinkovci presents appears to be a more interesting (read “risky”) prospect. A former Croatian U21 player he has spent most of his career at Slovan Liberc (who are familiar to Ross County supporters for paying County £100,000 for Dutch dud Kevin Luckassen, who has fared little better in the Czech Republic than he did in Scotland) and at Sparta Prague. While the latter of those is well-known for being a quality club, Keric played only sparingly for them and did not score many goals (by contrast, he had 32 in 81 matches for Liberc). Last season Keric was at the fun-to-say F91 Dudelange in Luxembourg where he scored 8 times in 16 matches. That sounds good, and F91 have been the dominant club in Luxembourg for the past 15 years, but the league ranks 47 of 53 in Europe and is mostly peopled by part time players. So, in short, should he make the club he’ll have a lot to prove.
In other player news, Ross County’s forward Kyle MacLeod has gone on short term loan to Elgin City F.C. in League Two (perhaps as a result of Keric’s play?), former County goal king Andy Barrowman has joined newly promoted Albion Rovers F.C. in League One, and most curiously former County star Iain Vigurs played for Highland League side Inverurie Locos today as a trialist. Come again? There has to be more to this story- this is a player who has caught the eye of Oldham Athletic and Barnsley F.C. in the last two years and who spent the last two years with Motherwell F.C. and played in European competitions. And now he’s without a club and playing in Highland League matches as a trialist.?!