TITLE winners Aberdour Shinty Club will make more history this weekend when they play in the National Division for the first time.

Led by head coach Lisa MacColl, the team that clinched a maiden Mowi South Division One title will take to the field in the sport's second tier against Beauly at Silver Sands on Saturday.

On their way to the title and promotion, the men's first team lost just once in 16 games and, while aware that they face a step up, MacColl believes that her side will relish the challenge of facing off against some of shinty's most recognised clubs.

Although their preparations have been hampered by the weather, which has meant they've been unable to play any pre-season matches, she told Press Sport: "We've prepared as well as we can.

"The national league is going to be a big step up, which we knew it would be, but the players are up for the challenge.

"It's going to be a brilliant experience and we are all excited to see how we can do. You can't get any better until you make the step up so it's about being positive and doing as well as we can.

"It's going to be tough, we know that, and our goal is to try and get enough points to stay up. We're realistic but they're a determined bunch; I wouldn't put anything past them.

"They stepped up to the challenge last year and I'm sure they'll do the same again. I couldn't ask for a better bunch in terms of their attitude."

Aberdour defeated their opponents in last year's Balliemore Cup by a 4-1 scoreline and MacColl reckons that the game could provide a "bit of a benchmark" for her squad.

"It's not very easy to tell how we'll fare because we've not had any pre-season games," she continued.

"We put them out of the cup last year so it'll be interesting to see how it goes. It'll be a tough game and they'll be up for it after we put them out the cup but it's a home game so it couldn't be a better way to start.

"The players know it's a team they can beat, as long as they make sure they don't get too complacent, and it's about sticking together on and off the park.

"I hope they can realise that they've got there because they deserve to be. We'll give it our best shot."

Ahead of the new season, David McDougall was selected to represent Scotland at last month's university international in Limerick, while the club have secured a raft of team and individual sponsors.

Throw-up at Silver Sands is at 2.30pm and, at the same time, the men's seconds begin their South Division Two campaign at Bute.

On Sunday, Aberdour's ladies will travel to Aviemore to compete in the National League Shield.