WITH twelve goals to his name, Scott Miller is enjoying his most profilic season yet with St Duthus FC - and now in his third year, he believes that the club are beginning to come of age.
Synonymous with his native Wanderers in Brora, Scott learned his craft as a striker with the Sutherland amateur side after coming through the youth ranks of Aberdeen, Ross County and Brora Rangers. At 29, he is now a seasoned campaigner, and St Duthus is in fact Scott's fifth North Caledonian League club. His list of former teams reads like something of a burial ground of clubs with Bonar Bridge, Dornoch and Balintore amongst them, and a short spell with the recently resurrected Bunillidh Thistle under his belt too.
A goalscorer wherever he has played, it is no surprise that the Saints' turn in fortunes last October coincided with a surge in form for the goalgetter -- but the Saints' number nine has a modest outlook, and he believes that the true catalyst for Saints' form has been the togetherness in the squad.
"With a fair chunk of the squad to replace following our cup winning season, we had a shakey start but once the squad gelled together we became a real force. We've become a really close unit and we're all enjoying this season. With the right belief, hard work, passion and the will to win these boys have there's no reason why we should fear anyone."
Scott's persistent goalscoring form had attracted interest from other clubs at the start of the 2018-19 campaign, but in the same breath as he this week confirmed that he will be front and centre to report for Saints duty next season, he states that he would never have considered moving to another club.
"A few clubs showed interest last summer and asked the question, but they were shut down straight away. There's only one club I am committed to and that's St Duthus. Even when the results weren't going our way, there was never any doubt in my head."
He joins club captain Cammy Mackintosh in re-affirming his commitment to the club at a time when eyes are on the ever-improving side. Awaiting St Duthus in the semi-final of the Jock Mackay Memorial Cup are league contenders Invergordon -- and the game will be played on Saints' new home of Grant Park. Scott is quick to recognise how much of a factor the home advantage might play.
"They are a good team but so are we. They might be top of the league, but there's no reason why we can't repeat what we did in January and go out and beat them. We're also unbeaten on Grant Park so far since moving up there at the turn of the year. If we work as hard as we know we can, I believe we can get to the final."
Before Scott and his teammates can begin to think about the semi-final however, Saints must travel to Caithness this weekend to meet Thurso - one week on from the club's meeting in the Jock Mackay cup in Tain, which Saints won with a comfortable 3-1 victory. Another win for St Duthus, this time in the Macleod & MacCallum North Caledonian League, will secure the highest points tally the club will have amassed in a single season since the late 90s.