Cove aiming to put Northern Ireland side Crusaders to the sword in cup battle at Forfar

John Sheran and his players are looking forward to making history with Cove Rangers tomorrow.

The Aberdeen outfit face Northern Irish team Crusaders at Station Park, Forfar, in the Irn-Bru Cup third round.

It is the first time Cove have faced a team from Northern Ireland in a competitive game.

Manager Sheran says everyone involved with the club are excited by the prospect.

When asked about being involved in such a historic game for Cove, he said: “It’s great to be a part of this.

“We’re playing in a national tournament, we’re through to the last-16 and we’re playing a team from Northern Ireland.

“It is something we have never done before in a competitive game. The guys are looking forward to it and we’re confident we can get a result if we play like we can.

“We know they are going to try to stop us playing. So it will be intriguing and we’re looking forward to it.”

Crusaders have won the Northern Ireland Premiership twice in the last three seasons. They finished second in the league last term.

That qualified the Hatchetmen for the Europa League where the Belfast outfit played FK Liepaja of Latvia in the first qualifying round.

Crusaders lost that tie but last season they reached the Champions League second qualifying round before being eliminated by Copenhagen.

Facing a side that have been playing in Europe makes Sheran think it will be a tough game, but reckons it is one his team are capable of winning and reaching the quarter-finals of the Challenge Cup.

He added: “We’ve seen a lot of them on television, on their TV channel and they were also on Sky on Monday night.

“We’ve had a guy across there watching them a couple of times, so we’ve got the information.

“We know it will be a tough game, they are a big, physical team who are used to winning games as well.

“They’ve won the league two years out of the last three in Northern Ireland, so it’s good to be involved in a game of this stature and it’s a good experience for the players.

“The boys are feeling good and raring to go. I’m sure we’ll turn in a good performance and if we win then we’d be delighted. If it’s a defeat then it’s not the end of the world because we see it as a free game.”