Edinburgh City boss admits injury scare ahead of cup replay

John Menzies credit to Ross

James McDonaugh looks ahead to tonight’s cup replay. Photo by Ross Cowper-Fraser

Edinburgh City manager, James McDonaugh admitted that his side could do without tonight’s Scottish Cup replay as they fear potential injuries.

City travel to the Highlands to play Inverness Caledonian Thistle and while a cup run is of importance, their focus will also be on retaining their two point lead in League Two.

McDonaugh spoke ahead of tonight’s third round replay.

He said: “Because we are struggling with injuries, tonight’s match is one that we could do without. I guess so far it’s okay because we keep winning, but at some point we’re going to be really struggling if we get a couple more injuries or any suspensions.

“We haven’t been able to give any of our first team players a rest over the past six weeks, so we’ve had to stick with the same core of players for our last few games. Of course the team keep winning games but we could easily lose a player or two to suspension, and then we’d really be in trouble.”

City drew the first meeting 1-1 at Ainslie Park against John Robertson’s side and hope they can do it again as they travel to Tulloch Caledonian Stadium for the 19:45 kick off.

They’re coming off the back of Saturday’s 2-0 win against Queen’s Park. A performance that certainly pleased McDonaugh going into tonight’s game.

He added: “I thought we were very good in the first half, playing on the front foot and at a good tempo. We always looked like a threat going forward.

“In the second half, the game turned very scrappy and we didn’t play as well but to be fair, we were 2-0 up because of a lot of hard work in the first half.”

“Overall, the players deserve a lot of credit for securing another three points.”

Inverness CT come into tonight on the back of only their third defeat of the season, and their first in the league. They lost to 3-2 to McDonaugh’s former club, Falkirk over the weekend.

But despite that setback, the Highland side will be fancying their chances to progress at home to lower league opposition.

And McDonaugh expects it to be a very tough task against their Championship opponents.

“For us to have a chance against Inverness, every player for us must perform at their best, and we need them to have an off day, and a bit of luck as well. We would need all three to go our way. Of course we can win, but the chances of it happening are very minimal.”

Should Edinburgh City come through tonight’s match, they will be rewarded with a home tie against Lowland League side East Kilbride in the fourth round.

The Highlands named as top world destination for 2019 by Lonely Planet

The Highlands and Islands have been selected as one of the top places in the world by Lonely Planet.

The beautiful landscape helped place the region in the top 10 of Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel list for 2019.

The guide named the Highlands “one of the wildest, least inhabited and most scenic parts of Europe”. The “innovative and fast-developing” accommodation across the Highlands is another reason for the area’s high ranking.

Lonely Planet’s guide recommends looking out for a number of animals native to the area including red deer, golden eagles, otters and whales.

The Highlands have long been a popular destination. They are home to Britain’s largest National Park, Britain’s highest peak, Ben Nevis, and a stunning coastline.

We found out where else in Scotland visitors should be sure to check out, by asking the public the most beautiful places they have been.

 

 

Scottish Crofters urged to vote for their commission in March

croftingScotland’s 16,000 crofters are being urged to vote in the Crofting Commission elections this March. The Crofting Commission, based in Inverness, is the statutory regulator for crofting in Scotland. As a public body of the Scottish Government the Crofting Commission aims to promote crofting and ensure that regulations are maintained.

Voting papers for the election will be issued early next month providing crofters with the opportunity to appoint six commissioners in northern Scotland mid month.

Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy and Connectivity, Fergus Ewing, said: “The Scottish Government wants to ensure a strong and vibrant future for crofting.”

The Commission board can have up to nine commissioners, six of whom are elected by the crofting population with the remainder appointed by Scottish Ministers.

Ewing continued: “It is vital to have a commission made up of people who represent and reflect the interests and diversity of Scotland crafting community.”

Crofting is an important industry in Scotland, with some high schools in the Highlands region offering crofting studies to students to encourage growth in the sector.

 

Morayshire’s Alternative Reality

Spiritualism and Green living in the Northeast of Scotland

For the conscious individual, living in today’s materialistic Western society can be tough and, at times, rather depressing. It is bad enough that Donald Trump is the elected leader of the free world, and even worse is that a small proportion of the human-race has decided to wage war against mother Earth. Nature is destroyed, animals are killed and humans are poisoned on a regular basis – all in the name of profit.

For some “Ignorance is bliss,” and at times I am almost envious towards those who are able to shrug their shoulders, distracting themselves with television-shows and social-media. But, some of us dare to dream – hoping that maybe, just maybe, there more to life than Instagram-likes and Tesco meal-deals.

In bleak times such as these, many dreamers decide to jump the depressive UK-austerity-ship: waving goodbye to capitalism and careers, as they run away to live with Nepali goat farmers and ‘find themselves’ – or something along those lines. Is our country, and the Western World, so inevitably screwed that to find happiness, we must run away?

What if I told you, that an alternative reality does exist? What if I told you, that it lays in the Northeast of Scotland…

Nestled in a corner of the Moray Firth resides the Findhorn Foundation, a 40-year-old spiritual community and eco-village. To walk through the community one would dander through charming gardens, past a stonewalled mediation chamber, a purpose-built art-gallery and the architecturally stunning Universal Hall (which houses many theatrical and musical performances). Perhaps you would notice the community’s own solar panels and wind-turbine, or walk through the cluster of ‘eco houses’ – beautiful creations assembled from local and sustainable materials, such as old whisky barrels. After spending a few hours in Findhorn, it would be hard to deny that the place is somewhat magical.

But for sceptics, magic simply does not exist.

Now before you roll your eyes and presume that Findhorn-dwellers are a bunch of disillusioned old hippies, here are the facts: Findhorn houses over 40 community businesses and studies have found that Findhorn’s initiatives contributed 400 jobs and £5 million to the North of Scotland’s economy. Meanwhile, the community manages to have an average carbon-footprint of less than half the UK average.

“Findhorn provides a model of an alternative lifestyle. People may say communities such as these are secluded, but Findhorn itself has had an effect on the whole bio-region of the area. Amazing initiatives have started in Findhorn, such as ‘Trees For Life’ a charity restoring the Caledonian Forest, and ‘Biomatrix’ cleaning up water in cities all over the world” explained Tara Gibsone, a Findhorn native, and daughter of one of the community-elders.

However, Findhorn’s objectives and core-principles are far more complex than to simply live greener. To gain a better understanding of the community’s spiritual element, people travel from all over the world to engage in Experience Weeks, as well as many other courses in a range of subjects from permaculture to meditation. Tara explained that these weeks can deliver individuals a “profound experience,” Tara has also helped run the Youth Experience Week, and tells me “I have witnessed it myself, the change that people go through, to learn there is a different way to live.”

Perhaps, you are sitting there assuming that this place would not be your cup of herbal tea, or that you would never fit in, but Tara tells us the best bit about Findhorn is “the diversity – how open it is, it is not secluded to one belief system or practical dogma. It houses a number of different types of people. It is open to anybody.”

I am not saying Findhorn is a paradise or utopia – but Findhorn does show that there is working alternative to the status quo of modern-day life. Surely, this is enough for it to be used as a reference point to guide us towards a better-functioning society in the future.  It is not a dream – it is reality. Perhaps, there is hope.

barrel houses

Houses created from recycled whisky barrels in Findhorn. (Photo credit: Tara Gibsone)

roisin_findhorn_photo_2

Craig Gibsone, a Findhorn Elder, with his pottery.  (Photo credit: Tara Gibsone)

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