Munro to call time on Brora career if promoted

BRORA Rangers’ veteran centre back Grant Munro insists he wants to see his side promoted into the SPFL, even if it means he will walk away from the club and potentially the game of football altogether.

Brora Rangers Grant Munro, in the red shirt, wins an aerial tussle with Shaun Harrison. Picture: Toby Williams

The 35-year old marshalled the away side’s back four as they fought back from a second-half deficit to square the SPFL pyramid play-off semi-final tie at 1-1 ahead of this Saturday’s decisive second leg in Brora.

Martin MacLean drove in an 80th minute equaliser for the visitors after Ortega Deniran had capitalised on a defensive error to give the hosts the lead.

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Much has been made of the comments by Brora chairman John Young when he insisted the Highland League champions would prefer to remain where they are rather than enter the SPFL.

The playing staff and team management have since been very vocal in their desire to ignore their chairman’s preferences by proving themselves at a higher level. For Munro, the Scottish fourth tier would represent a return to a structure he chose to defect from when he left Ross County during the early months of the 2013-14 season, albeit at a much lower level.

Now with a young family and working in 9-5 employment, the demands placed on players from Brora to travel down to the central belt for league matches every other week, he feels, would be too much at this stage in his career.

However, that does not mean he will not give his all for the cause as he looks to help his younger team-mates fulfil their ambitions.

“I’d probably just stay local in the Highland League,” Munro revealed. “We were away at 8am today and won’t get home until 10pm. So it turns into a six-day week for me and I’ve got three young kids. When I was 21 and had no responsibilities, it wasn’t a problem and I would do it all day long. It’s different for the teams in the central belt – they can go and train probably half an hour from their house.

“We showed today we are fully committed, but myself personally, I can’t commit to going back to the SPFL. I’d do my damndest to make sure we do get up if the boys do the business next week, when we play Montrose. If we get through, I’ll be there against Montrose.”

Munro will miss the second leg as he attends his mum and dad’s joint-60th birthday/40-year wedding anniversary. This will sound rather peculiar to a top-flight fan, but at the fifth level of Scottish football such absences are a common occurrence. The centre back has full faith in his team-mates to cover his absence and send the club into the play-off final.

“It’s unfortunate it has fallen on this weekend,” added Munro. “I’m hoping the boys will get the win for me. Hopefully, I’ll be able to follow coverage of the game. I missed a bit of the season earlier and these boys coped easily without me so I have no doubts these boys will go on and win.”