COVE RANGERS WOULD NEVER HAVE WON TREBLE WITHOUT JOHN AT HELM, SAYS CO-MANAGER GRAEME
TOP TEAM: The Cove Rangers management team with the Highland League Cup, from left Roy McBain, John Sheran, Graeme Mathieson and Keith Paterson.
COVE Rangers boss John Sheran has been praised for leading the club to treble glory this term.
John has expressed his gratitude to everyone connected with Cove in the wake of them clinching the Breedon Highland League title, on the back of also winning the Aberdeenshire Cup and the Highland League Cup.
But co-manager Graeme Mathieson believes it’s time John got the credit due for his part in helping Cove prove they are the undisputed kings of Highland football.
Graeme said: “He’s the most successful manager we’ve ever had, which says it all really.
“That’s because he’s by far one of the best man managers in the game, he’s a real player’s man.
“Watching the way he speaks to and motivates players is a real education.
“He talks to them, individually and as a group, all of the time.
“John makes it clear he will support them in any way he can, in football and at a personal level, as long as they give him everything in every game.
“You only need to count up the amount of trophies we have won during his two spells at the club to see how well players respond to him.
“Don’t get me wrong, there are times when he will shout and bawl at them too, but if you were to ask any of the Cove players they would say they love having John as their manager
“It’s typical of John to deflect credit on to everyone but himself but all of us at the club know none of the success we have achieved would have been possible without him driving us on.”
Graeme also appreciates the fact John is more than happy to take any advice he gets from any of his coaching staff - which includes first team coach Roy McBain, goalkeeping coach Keith Paterson and youth coach Gary Hake - on board if he feels it can help Cove win games.
“We talk a lot and John makes it clear our points of view are valued,” said Graeme.
“That’s another part of his man management style.
“The game is full of managers who insist they are always right.
“But John always discusses potential teams and formations ahead of every game and if he feels someone else has made a good suggestion he will respond to it.
“We always leave those meetings with everyone agreeing that the game plan that has been drawn up is the right one.
“And if an idea suggested by one of the other coaching staff pays off John is quick to give them credit for that.”
Graeme was a youth coach at Cove when John left to manage Peterhead after to his first spell at Cove.
He was still at the club when John came back but feared he might be asked to leave to allow him to bring in his own coaching staff.
He was understandably delighted when John asked him to step up to help him at first team level, a partnership that evolved into John asking Graeme to be his co-manager at the beginning of this season.
“Kevin Tindall had asked me to be his assistant when he was manager,” said Graeme.
“I was very pleased when John asked me to work with him too because I had thought he might bring back Graeme Park, who was his assistant the first time around.
“It means I’ve now been coaching at Cove for 10 years which is great because I love the club.
“I’m grateful he chose to eventually make me co-manager because working with John is great fun as well as challenging.”
Graeme is looking forward to their next challenge, attempting to lead Cove up into the SPFL via the Pyramid Play-offs.
They travel to face East Kilbride a week on Saturday for the first leg of the semi-final, with the return at Balmoral Stadium seven days later.
“This will be the third attempt for myself and John,” said Graeme, who is also keen to see Cove end their Highland League campaign on a high when they face Clachnacuddin at Balmoral on Saturday.
“We know we have two very tough games ahead of us but we have spent a long time preparing for them.
“Any time we lose a game we go through everything in an effort to ensure it doesn’t happen again.
“Did we work the players too hard in training? .... did they get too much rest?...we ask ourselves all sorts of questions in the hope that we will find the right answers to give the players the best chance of winning the next time.
“I feel we are far better prepared for the task ahead of us than we were a year ago ... we will find out if that is the case over the next few weeks.
“We will be giving it our best shot, I can promise you that.”