BOSS JOHN DESPERATE TO GIVE COVE FAITHFUL A FAN-TASTIC DAY OUT AT FINAL SHOWDOWN AGAINST FORMARTINE
COVE manager John Sheran says the desire to deliver more silverware to their barmy army of fans will be their main motivation in this weekend’s Highland League Cup final.
Cove face trophy holders Formartine United in the final at Harlaw Park, Inverurie on Saturday, 3pm.
John said: “I know the Cove fans will be there in force doing their best to drive us on and I can promise them we will be giving it our best shot.
“We’ve really appreciated the backing they have given us right through the season, travelling long distances all over Scotland and making their presence known.
“Playing the final at Inverurie at least makes it a bit more accessible to them and lets hope we are good enough on the day to make it one they will want to remember for the right reasons.”
Both sides have already won a trophy this season - Cove the Aberdeenshire Cup and Formartine the Aberdeenshire Shield - but John admitted it is the League Cup that most managers and players like to get their hands on.
“The League Cup in particular is a competition I’ve always enjoyed,” he said.
“We’ve made it to quite a number of finals during my two spells with Cove.
“I’ve been a winner a few times but been on the bad end of things too, but they have always been great occasions and I’m sure this weekend’s final will be the same.
“It’s always a proper cup final day, held on a Saturday and watched by a large and passionate crowd.
“The players enjoy them as much as managers do because they know they tend to be between two of the best sides in the Highland League, which is certainly the case this time.
“Formartine and ourselves have enjoyed some pretty epic battles over the years.
“When we played in the final two years ago, up at Fraserburgh, the conditions were pretty difficult, which meant that wasn’t the greatest of the games between us.
“But it still contained plenty of drama, with three late goals and thankfully we managed to just come out on top.
“The meetings between us this season have been just as tight and keenly contested because both sets of players are fully committed and want to win every match.
“I think there is a genuine respect on either side and an acceptance that, if you want to win, you are going to need to be at the very top of your game.”
The Cove manager is pleased to have a full squad to pick from for the short trip to Inverurie.
He’s also happy recent signing Jimmy Scott goes there boosted by scoring for the second successive game, when Cove beat Wick Academy 5-0 at Balmoral Stadium last weekend to maintain their lead at the top of the Breedon Highland League.
“Jimmy played pretty well throughout the game,” said John.
“We asked him play in a couple of positions and he took everything into his stride.
“He’s getting to know the boys and they are getting to know him, so we are very pleased with how things are progressing with Jimmy.
“Im also blessing our good luck that we now have everybody fit, I can’t recall that ever being the case before at this late stage of a season.
“The downside of that, unfortunately, is that will we have some guys missing out, which is hard on them because they all want to be playing in every game.
“But I’ve always underlined the importance of having a strong squad and it’s likely that everyone will be asked to make a contribution between now and the end of the season.”
GET IN THERE: Cove Rangers striker Jimmy Scott scores against Wick from a cross supplied by the grounded Connor Scully.
COVE RANGERS FULL RECORD IN HIGHLAND LEAGUE CUP FINALS
1990-91 Elgin City 2 Cove Rangers 1
1992-93 Huntly 1 Cove Rangers 1 (Huntly won 5-4 on pens)
1994-95 Cove Rangers 2 Lossiemouth 2 (Cove won 5-3 on pens)
1995-96 Huntly 2 Cove Rangers 1 (AET)
1997-98 Elgin City 1 Cove Rangers 0
1999-00 Cove Rangers 4 Elgin City 3
2004-05 Cove Rangers 2 Deveronvale 0
2005-06 Fraserburgh 4 Cove Rangers 1
2007-08 Inverurie Locos 3 Cove Rangers 1
2011-12 Buckie Thistle 2 Cove Rangers 0
2014-15 Cove Rangers 4 Wick Academy 0
2016-17 Cove Rangers 2 Formartine United 1