Cove aim to land striker and winger for maiden SPFL campaign

Graeme Mathieson.
Graeme Mathieson.

Cove Rangers co-manager Graeme Mathieson says the club are still looking to bring in a striker and a wide man for their SPFL debut.

The Aberdeen side will make the step up from the Highland League to League Two next season after storming to promotion through the pyramid play-offs.

Mathieson and co-boss John Sheran have already brought in ex-Peterhead, Arbroath and Montrose midfielder Jamie Redman in as attempt to improve on their stellar campaign.

And Mathieson revealed work is ongoing to get in a few more new faces.

He said: “It’s really about having cover for players in areas we lacked last season.

“If you look at the amount of games (central midfielders) Connor Scully and Blair Yule played, they hardly got a rest in 55 games.

“That’s why we’ve brought in Jamie, who is a midfielder and can play in a lot of other positions – it gives us options.

“With losing Paul McManus and Jordan MacRae, we’ve got to bring in a striker and we’re looking to bring in a wide player as well. An out and out winger type player.”

One of the strikers linked to Cove is Peterhead’s transfer-listed hitman Shane Sutherland.

Peterhead’s Shane Sutherland.

Blue Toon boss Jim McInally has said he expects the Granite City outfit to enter the race for Sutherland, with ex-club Elgin City having already made a bid and Stenhousemuir also interested.

Sutherland, who has a strong goalscoring record in league football, certainly fits the criteria outlined by Mathieson.

The gaffer said: “(We’re looking for) somebody who can complement Mitchel (Megginson), who’s scored approximately 50 goals in the last two seasons.

“He’s not going to do that in league football, we know that.

“It’s going to be tougher for him and we rely on him quite a lot.

“We’re needing somebody in with similar experience to what Mitchel has – and a similar goal ratio.”

Ex-Aberdeen striker Megginson has been a force of nature in Highland League football since joining Cove and was a key to the team’s promotion, with 49 goals last term.

Scully and Yule were similarly impressive, but Mathieson never feared any of his stars being poached from the Balmoral Stadium.

He said: “They’re all under contract and they’ve kind of left us in peace. We’ve been pretty fortunate that way.”

Pre-season friendlies and the Betfred Cup – where Cove have been drawn in a group with Dundee, Inverness Caley Thistle, Raith Rovers and Peterhead – will get the squad up to speed for their League Two opener at home to Edinburgh City on August 3.

Mathieson is looking forward to the League Cup and plans to use it as an extended chance to experiment.

He said: “We’ve played in it for the past few seasons and tend to use it as a pre-season. It allows us to use the squad and see the players, and lets us try different things.

“Obviously we know we’re not going to win it, but it’s fantastic to play against teams of a higher level.”