COVE Rangers striker Jordan MacRae says he was happy to delay his mini-break to help their Under-20 side beat Deveronvale 7-1 in Monday night's Aberdeenshire League clash at Balmoral Stadium.
Manager John Sheran gave his entire first team squad a week off after Saturday's 2-0 victory over Formartine United in the Breedon Highland League.
But Jordan, who signed for Cove from Nairn County in the summer, volunteered to play for the u20s instead .... despite the fact it would involve a 190 mile round trip from his home in Ardersier, just outside Inverness.
The 19-year-old's remarkable show of commitment was rewarded with a hat trick as the Cove youngsters recorded their first win of the season.
They had lost their league opener 4-3 away to Keith the previous week.
"I know I could have taken the night off but I just want to play football," said Jordan, who also helped set up the opening goal for Hamish MacLeod.
"I only came on for the last 12 minutes or so against Formartine so felt another run out would do me good.
"Having to make such a long journey on a Monday evening never entered my mind, I would travel anywhere to play for Cove."
Jordan admitted the desire to stay as fit as possible for the battle to get a regular first team place was another reason why he was more than happy to help out u20 boss Gary Hake.
He said: "I don't get the chance to train with Cove as much as some of the other lads because of the distances involved.
"It means I have to grab every chance to keep my fitness levels up - and maybe catch the manager's eye at the same time.
"The more games I play, and goals I score, the more chance there is of getting picked for the first team.
"I knew the day I signed for Cove that I would have to fight for a place, that it wouldn't be like when I was at Nairn, when I was in the starting side most weeks.
"You have to expect that when you move to a better team.
"I was the only striker scoring regularly at Nairn, so I was pretty much guaranteed to be involved in every game.
"But I'm up against the likes of Mitch Megginson and Paul McManus at Cove.
"If  I want a game ahead of either of those two I'm going to have to set very high standards."
Cove's other scorers in the victory over Vale were Connor Wood, Matthew Tough and Kyle Smith.
Their next home game in the Aberdeenshire League is against Fraserburgh on Monday October 1.