Daniel Park has described his exit from the Balmoral Stadium as “tough”, but has now set his sights on helping Formartine follow Cove from the Highland ranks to the Scottish League.
Park, who ended a five-year spell at now-SPFL Cove last week, was on the bench for United’s disappointing 1-0 Highland League loss to Buckie on Saturday.
He then started the 2-0 home Evening Express Aberdeenshire Cup semi-final win over Aberdeen reserves on Tuesday.
Midfielder Park, who can also play as a striker, said: “It was tough leaving Cove, as it always is leaving a club you’ve been successful at for five seasons, with all your good friends there.
“When Formartine phoned, (player-boss Paul) Lawson sold it to me and I knew a few of the lads from last time.
“I was here for two-and-a-half years and we were unlucky not to win the league. We lost on the last day of the season.
“So I just want to go one better this time.
“I’m signed for three years so hopefully I can kick on, go for the league and see what we do in the play-offs.”
Park has been impressed by the United squad, with stalwarts like Craig McKeown, Stuart Anderson and Graeme Rodger bolstered by the likes of Michael Clark, Liam Strachan and Scott Lisle, as well as Park, in recent months.
The Aberdonian said: “I knew they were a good side from playing them last year and they’ve signed a couple of younger lads who’ve come in and done well.
“This team should be up there challenging and I don’t see why we can’t be.
“The set-up, the team, management, the field, you’ve got everything you need and there’s no reason we shouldn’t be.”
Before thoughts turn back to the Highland League, Formartine must first step into the unknown, with Northern Ireland’s Glenavon set to visit on Tunnock’s Caramel Wafer Challenge Cup duty tomorrow.
Park is cup tied but having played Crusaders two campaigns ago with Cove, he knows it could be a big test for his new team-mates.
He said: “Saturday was a bit of a downer, losing to Buckie, but we’ve bounced back 2-0 and we’ll go into the Tunnock’s Cup with confidence and hopefully build from there.
“I’m not too sure (how good Glenavon will be). I’m cup tied because I played for Cove against Brora up there.
“We’ve had a look at them this week. They’ll be of a good standard. I played Crusaders a couple of years back and they were a very good side.”
If the slick, aggressive midweek performance against the Dons is anything to go by, Formartine will be full of confidence.
Park said: “It was a great result against a strong Aberdeen team. They had a good mix of boys with some first-team lads.
“To get a result against a full-time team in a semi-final is always great.
“I think we played the game well. There weren’t many mistakes and everyone was on it, working hard for each other and communicating well.
“There’s quality throughout the team so we’re always going to create chances. We stuck a couple of them away and we’ve done well.”
Meanwhile, Formartine have published a book, United we stand, on their 10 years in the Highland League.