When Ryan Strachan joined Cove Rangers the club only had one objective – promotion to the SPFL.
And the defender is delighted the Highland League champions are just 90 minutes away from making that dream a reality.
The Granite City outfit thrashed Berwick Rangers 4-0 at the Balmoral Stadium on Saturday in the first leg of the pyramid play-off final.
It should mean this weekend’s second leg at Shielfield Park is a formality.
Strachan, who joined Cove two years ago, said: “When I joined the club it was the only focus, to get promoted.
“That was the desire when I met the chairman Keith Moorhouse and co-managers John Sheran and Graeme Mathieson to talk about joining.
“Leaving Peterhead was a big call, but to get the chance with a local team and mainly local boys has been good.
“It looks like the jigsaw is all coming together now, but we still have 90 minutes on Saturday.
“We’ll prepare all week for it as we do for every game and try to get the job done.
“As a squad we are oozing confidence and we have plenty of SPFL experience.
“I said last season that we could easily play League Two, the difficulty has been getting there.
“We maybe haven’t had the breaks and the luck you need in play-off games but hopefully we can do it this week.”
Cove were so close to promotion last year, but lost 3-2 to Cowdenbeath in the final.
Strachan missed last season’s play-offs due to an ankle injury and he’s pleased to be able to contribute 12 months on.
He added: “I feel like I have a lot to make up for. If we had won the Highland League earlier I might have asked to be rested just to make sure I made the play-offs.
“That wasn’t the case because Brora pushed us right to the end.
“But I managed to come through it and I’m involved in the play-offs after missing them last year.
“Brora pushing us may actually have helped us because last season we had four or five games after winning the league.
“They were all cramped into the space of four or five weeks.
“And we started losing key players who had been playing every week due to injury.
“Then we had to rotate and we lost a bit of momentum. But that doesn’t matter now because we’re in a good position this year.”
Cove co-manager John Sheran has been recovering from a heart attack suffered on April 21, but managed to attend Saturday’s triumph against Berwick.
Strachan was thrilled to see him in the stand and said: “The gaffer popped his head into training on Wednesday and gave us a few words of wisdom.
“We knew he was coming on Saturday and it was great to see him.
“I heard he was shouting on from the stand, but you can’t take that passion out of him.
“He’ll be keeping his eye on what happens at Berwick I’m sure.
“John says it’s not about doing it for him – it’s about doing it for ourselves, our family and the club and that’s what we are doing.
“He’s a selfless guy and very passionate about the game.
“I don’t think he would love anything more than to see us go up and it’s what the club needs.”