MANAGEMENT DUO PAUL AND GORDON EXCITED BY THE CHALLENGE AHEAD AFTER TAKING OVER AT COVE RANGERS
IN CHARGE: New Cove Rangers management duo Gordon Young, left, and Paul Hartley at Balmoral Stadium today.
(PICTURES BY NEWSLINE SCOTLAND)
NEW Cove Rangers management team Paul Hartley and Gordon Young are thrilled to have been handed the chance to lead the club in our first SPFL campaign.
Paul and Gordon were unveiled as the new manager and assistant manager at a press conference at Balmoral Stadium this morning.
Fitness coach Tam Ritchie has also joined the club ahead of our debut in League Two next month.
Former Scotland, Aberdeen, Celtic and Hearts captain Paul, who signed a three year contract to become the first full-time manager in the club’s history, said: “This is a marvellous opportunity for us, we are really looking forward to it.
“Leading the club in League Two will be a big challenge but it’s one that excites us.
“This is an ambitious club, with a great chairman and set of players.
“We are all raring to go and looking forward to the season ahead.”
Gordon, who was also Paul’s assistant with Championship side Falkirk, said: “I jumped at the opportunity to work alongside Paul again at the start of what we hope will be an exciting journey for Cove Rangers.
“You only need to look at the facilities at Balmoral Stadium to understand how ambitious the club is.
“We appreciate the trust placed in us by the club and the chairman and will do all that we can to continue Cove’s impressive record of success.”
Paul began his management career with Alloa Athletic in 2011, when they were a League Two side.
He led them to back to back promotions and was also manager of Dundee when they won the Championship in 2014.
“We managed to make significant progress at Alloa within a couple of years and I would hope to do something similar with Cove,” he said.
“But we must be careful not to get too carried away with ourselves because we know how difficult football can be.
“I also know from my own experiences that League Two is going to be tough, there’s a lot of well established teams in there.
“But everyone at the club is eager to see how we match up.”
FULLY COMMITTED: Paul Hartley has become the first full-time manager appointed by Cove Rangers.
Paul, Gordon and Tam take over from co-managers John Sheran and Graeme Mathieson and first team coach Roy McBain, who led the club to promotion via the Pyramid Play-offs last term.
John, who suffered a heart attack in April, has chosen to step down from front line management but accepted the offer to join the Board as Director of Football.
Paul said: “John had to do the right thing in terms of his family and his health.
“But it’s great for us that he’s chosen to go upstairs because he’s someone we can talk to and get advice from.
“John knows the club inside out, he knows the players and has worked with the chairman for a long time.”
John is looking forward to working in his new role and thanked Graeme and Roy for all that they did for him during their time at Cove Rangers.
“They are great people who were marvellous to work with,” said John.
“Graeme and Roy also showed their quality as coaches by leading us through the play-offs despite the turmoil caused when I was unwell.
“They played huge parts in ensuring Cove eventually made it to League Two.”
Paul and Gordon will meet the full squad for the first time ahead of tonight’s friendly against Highland League side Inverurie Locos at Balmoral Stadium, 7.45pm.
Paul already has experience of coaching some of them.
He helped the club in a coaching and scouting capacity ahead of last season’s play-offs.
“That spell working with the players last season let me see just how high the quality of the squad we already have is,” said Paul.
“They were a good set of boys to work with and there was a really strong team spirit about the place.
“They also showed in the play-offs that they can play at a very high level so I don’t see us needing to change too much.
“There’s a good enough group here to be going forward with.
“We might need one or two additions to ensure we have the depth needed to compete in League Two, but those decisions won’t be made until we’ve had a chance to work with those already here and assessed what they can do.
“We are also pleased the squad contains a lot of players from in and around the Aberdeen area.
“That’s part of the club’s identity and we would never look to take that away.
“The club has enjoyed great success in the past by tapping into the best talents in the north-east and we want that to continue.”
Paul hasn’t ruled out turning to his old club Aberdeen to seek some of their younger players on loan to strengthen the squad further.
“It would be foolish not too,” he said.
“It could be mutually beneficial, especially with Aberdeen confirming they aren’t competing in the SPFL Reserve League in the coming season.
“Coming on loan to Cove would give them the opportunity to experience SPFL football.”
WELCOME ABOARD: Cove Rangers chairman Keith Moorhouse, centre, with new management team Gordon Young and Paul Hartley.