Kingussie secured their first Mowi Premiership title in a decade on Saturday. We sat down with John Gibson after the game.
Q: Congratulations on taking Kingussie to the Mowi Premiership title, how would you describe this season?
Thanks! It’s been a great season from our point of view. Our young players have really progressed and added consistency which wasn’t there last year. We are perhaps a bit ahead of where we thought we might be but we knew the potential was there.
We had a couple of setbacks throughout the season but the boys reacted well, particularly to losing to Kyles on penalties to then go on and win the Macauley cup. To add the Mowi Premiership title to that has been a fantastic end to the season.
Q: Being so close to getting over the line - were you nervous when Kilmallie opened the scoring on Saturday?
No, we were still confident. We have started slowly in a number of games this year and played our way into the game. We knew Kilmallie would come out strongly as they have a number of very strong, physical players, particularly in defence. We were able to reply with a well worked goal from Savio and that settled any edginess there may have been. Roddy’s goal just before half time put us in control and I think Alexander Michie, James Hutchison and our defence were excellent in the second half.
Q: This is the first time that Kingussie have won the league in a decade, how important is it to the community to get that win?
It’s very important to win the league as it really shows where we are as a team. It’s a difficult competition to win with so many teams able to take points of each other. The fact that only 2 teams outside of Kingussie and Newtonmore have won it in the last 30 years is an indicator of just how difficult it is.
A lot of work goes on behind the scenes of the club with everyone pushing for success. It’s a reward for all those involved with the club.
We have had a number of supporters comment on how much they are enjoying watch the team this year and the style and quality of the shinty. There’s a great atmosphere at the Dell and hopefully that will continue next season.
Q: What would you say has been the key to Kingussie’s success this season?
I think the key this season has been the consistency of performance from all of the players. They have all progressed their levels of fitness and we have a real cutting edge in front of goal which was perhaps missing for the last few years. That alongside our very stuffy defence means we can win games that perhaps we might have lost last season. We have also had a settled side without too many injuries, and our more experienced players have made an enormous contribution with Fraser Munro playing more games this season than he has for 5 or 6 years pretty much injury free.
Q: What’s next on the cards for this impressive young side?
A couple of months of well-earned rest and then focus on next year, if we can keep progressing then who knows? It’s a challenge but one I’m sure they will be up for.