ABERDEEN’S ACE STRIKE DUO IMPRESSED BY THE AMBITION SHOWN BY EVERYONE AT COVE RANGERS
DYNAMIC DUO: Former Aberdeen heroes Drew Jarvie and Joe Harper at Balmoral Stadium.
TWO of Aberdeen Football Club’s goal greats were welcome guests at our 3-0 Ladbrokes League Two victory over Brechin City.
Joe Harper and Drew Jarvie terrorised opposing defences by netting a joint total of 335 times for the Dons and are regarded as the Pittodrie club’s finest ever strike partnership.
Everyone at Cove was delighted to see them at the Brechin game, as guests of Terry Cobban, boss of our main sponsors ACE Group.
Former King of the Beach End Joe, who scored 205 goals in 300 appearances, is a regular at Balmoral Stadium.
Drew, who netted 130 in 386 games, had previously paid through the gate to see games, but the Brechin one was his first opportunity to have a look behind the scenes.
“The facilities at Balmoral are top class,” said Drew, who joined Aberdeen from Airdrie in a £70,000 deal in the summer of 1972.
“I played part-time football, with Airdrie, and we could only have dreamed of getting access to what is available to the Cove Rangers players.
“Our training usually consisted of laps around old Bloomfield Stadium then maybe a bit of shooting practice behind the goals.
“Things weren’t much better when I joined Aberdeen.
“Most of our training was done at Seaton Park, or drown at the beach if the weather was bad.
“I’m pleased Aberdeen have finally sorted that out with the recent opening of Cormack Park.
“But Cove have been at Balmoral for more than a year now, the people at the club deserve a lot of credit for the work done to ensure their players have access to the very best of facilities.
“They are a club going forward, that’s very clear.”
Joe, who cost Aberdeen £40,000 when he moved to them from Morton in 1969 and also played for Huddersfield Town, Everton and Hibs, said: “The city had been shouting out for a second side to be playing at SPFL level.
“I was always confident Cove would do well, especially when you look at what Inverness Caley, Ross County and Peterhead have done after making the step up from the Highland League.
“Cove have been like a breath of fresh air to a division that has contained too much dead wood for far too many years.
“They have a proper infrastructure and the appointment of Paul Hartley as manager underlined just how ambitious Cove are.
“I’m very excited by the prospect of what could lie ahead for the club over the next few years.”
The time playing together at Pittodrie - Joe had two spells with the Dons from 1969-72 and 1976-81 while Drew was there from 1972-83 - also led to them forging a lifelong friendship.
So it meant a lot to Drew when the SFA asked him to go to Hampden last month to make the official presentation to Joe when he was inducted into the Scotland Hall of Fame.
“I was really chuffed when the SFA asked me to do the presentation,” said Drew.
Those sentiments were echoed by Joe, who said: “It made the night even more memorable for me.
“People often ask me who the best striker I ever played with was and the answer is always the same, Drew.
“I played with some of the greats, Steve Archibald, Kenny Dalglish and Joe Jordon, but none of them were as good as Drew in my eyes.
“We had an almost telepathic understanding and a vast amount of the goals I scored for Aberdeen were set up by Drew.”
Drew responded to that by saying: “It’s nice of Joe to say that but our partnership only really worked because he had a great football intelligence.
“He’s up there with the likes of Messi, Suarez and Augero in that respect.
“They are at a different level from normal strikers.
“They instinctively know when to make the right runs to get on the end of chances then are clinical at the end of it all.”
Both men were delighted to accept Terry Cobban’s offer to be among his guests for the Brechin game.
“Terry actually used to babysit my children back in the 1970s, we go back a long way,” said Joe.
“He must have been the oldest babysitter in town at that time!”
Drew added: “I know Terry well because he also take guests to games at Pittodrie and I work there as a club ambassador on match days.
“He’s a very generous host and great company.”