Being manager of Inverurie Locos has made Neil Cooper a happy man.
This week marks a year since Cooper was appointed boss at Harlaw Park.
The former Dons player has led his side to second place in the league – they host Lossiemouth at Harlaw Park tomorrow – and he is pleased with what they have achieved so far.
He said: “I was delighted to be appointed as manager and once you are appointed you assess the players over a period of time.
“Training is different to games and when you are in game situations you see the players who are going to take the club forward.
“You can’t just make changes for the sake of making changes, they have to be the right changes for the right reasons and I think we’ve done that. The players dictate the standard at training and in games.
“My coaching staff and I can put on poor sessions but if the attitude of the players is great then it’s still a great session.
“They dictate the standards and that’s why we have been doing well.
“We can’t afford to go back to being slack in our approach.
“The boys have responded really well, especially some of the experienced ones, like Neil McLean, Stuart Duff and Ryan Broadhurst.
“We’ve got Neil Gauld back as well, all these boys really help me and my coaching staff.
“With the level they have played at for so long they show the younger guys a good example and encourage them as well.
“Everything is going well, I’ve been at the club a year and I’m delighted to have extended my contract along with my coaching team.
“I haven’t been as happy as this for a long time, the way we are all treated and the way the club is run is fantastic.”
On tomorrow’s game against Lossie, Cooper added: “We’ll expect a hard game against them.
“Sometimes there can be a gap between the teams at the top and the teams lower down, but they can be tough to break down.
“We’ve been delighted with the way our boys have been playing and training, so hopefully we can go and put in another good performance.”