Jonny Smith reckons the pieces are in place for a Formartine United title challenge after signing a three-year deal with the club.
Former Cove Rangers striker Smith completed the switch from fellow Highland League side Inverurie Locos yesterday and hopes to see Paul Lawson’s side contending for major trophies.
Formartine have been regular participants and winners of cup competitions in recent seasons and have enjoyed extended runs in the Scottish Cup.
However, the Highland League title has eluded them, finishing sixth in the most recent campaign.
With the signing of Smith’s ex-Cove colleagues Dan Park and Darryn Kelly last season, he is optimistic they can win a maiden league title.
He said: “They’re such a top-quality team that everyone expects them to be up there. I don’t think they’re miles off it at all.
“They’ve signed some great players in Dan Park and Darryn Kelly, who I know well. and that shows they’re here not to finish in the top four and do quite well in the cups. They are winners and are there to win trophies.
“The ambition is definitely the league title. I have been told for years that’s what they want to do and Paul Lawson told me the same.
“That’s great because it’s what I want to do as well.
“I’m coming towards the end of my career and I want to win as many things as I possibly can.
“It’s a big commitment for me and for the club and it’s great that they’ve shown so much trust in me. Hopefully, I can start repaying that soon enough.”
Smith was pursued by United boss Lawson prior to joining Locos in 2018.
The ex-Aberdeen youngster suffered a serious knee injury shortly into his time there, but came back last season after a year out.
He still had a year to run on his current deal at Harlaw Park, but was not keen on extending it beyond 2021.
The 31-year-old added: “I’ve had a lot of nice messages from pretty much everyone – players, management and board members.
“I wasn’t keen on signing a new contract, I got offered another couple of years and I didn’t want to go down that route just now. I wanted to see my time out.
“It’s not that I wasn’t happy, I just wasn’t really ready to commit my future to it.
“I left on really good terms with everyone at Locos and have got a lot of close friends there.”