COVE SKIPPER ERIC THROWS DOWN GAUNTLET AS QUEST FOR MORE GLORY CONTINUES
SKIPPER Eric Watson has challenged his Cove Rangers teammates to go all out in an attempt to complete the clean sweep of Highland League honours this season.
Cove start their defence of the Morrison Motors Aberdeenshire Shield when they face Aberdeen University at Keith Park tonight, 8pm.
They go into that with confidence flying after beating Banks o'Dee 4-1 at Inverurie on Friday night to lift the Evening Express Aberdeenshire Cup.
Centre-back Eric admitted that's made him hungry for more glory - and the 36-year-old believes Cove are good enough to win the Shield, Breedon Highland League and Highland League Cup - the other competitions open to them - as well.
Eric said: "The first thing I said after we beat Dee was 'let's go for the rest of them.'
"We know it won't be easy, we have loads of massive league games ahead and you never know what could lie ahead of you in cup competitions.
"But we overcome some very tough opponents to win the Aberdeenshire Cup.
"We just edged out Formartine United then won away to Deveronvale to reach the final.
"It then took a really top class effort from us to get the better of Dee in that.
"They showed they are a very strong side, especially in the first half hour or so.
"We actually took the lead against the run of play and were a bit fortunate to go in at he break two goals ahead.
"We stepped it up after that and dominated, but we had to show real character and a lot of quality to finally get the job done.
"The win was even more pleasing because we had lost the previous two finals - and people were questioning whether we could get the better Dee, who had recorded some impressive results on their route to the final.
"That's the Aberdeenshire Cup done and dusted now though, when you play for Cove it's always about taking on the next challenge.
"First up is trying to beat the University lads to advance to the next round of the Shield, a task none of us are taking for granted because we know every team we play is desperate to claim our scalp.
"Then it will be back to league business when we entertain Lossiemouth on Saturday.
"We all know if we want to get more winners' medals we are going to have to attempt to play at our very best in every match."
The victory over Dee saw Eric become the first Cove captain to lift the Aberdeenshire Cup twice, having also led the club to glory in the competition in 2010.
Legendary midfielder Doug Baxter was skipper for the club's only other win, in 2001.
It was also Eric's 11th honour as a Cove player, he has five league title, two Highland League Cup and two Shield winners' medals in his trophy cabinet at home.
Eric said: "I would love it if I could get to the dozen mark, and beyond, this season.
"Winning trophies is what I'm in the game for and I'm very proud of my record so far with Cove Rangers."
Cove manager John Sheran plans to field as strong a side as possible tonight, although Cove do have a couple of players carrying injuries in the wake of the cup final victory over Dee.