Cove Rangers legend Eric Watson is delighted to see them gain promotion after their first season in the SPFL.
The Granite City side will play in League 1 next season after clubs voted earlier this month to end the Championship, League One and League Two seasons.
Cove were sitting 13 points clear of Edinburgh City at the top of the table when the decision was taken.
In 12 years with the Balmoral Stadium outfit prior to his departure last summer, Watson helped them win promotion to the SPFL last term, as well as winning six Highland League titles, three Highland League Cups, two Aberdeenshire Cups and two Aberdeenshire Shields.
The Inverurie Locos defender is thrilled with his old side’s progress and said: “I’m delighted to see Cove promoted, they’ve had a great season.
“It was a bit like Brora in the Highland League in that they’re head and shoulders above everyone else and deserve to be crowned champions.
“It’s been great to see what Cove have done this season and I’ve always been keeping a check on the scores.
“Most weeks the team that has played has had six or seven of the boys from last season in the starting 11.
“That’s good and they deserved to have a go at Scottish League football. I’m pleased they’ve proved themselves in that league.
“Hopefully whenever things get back under way they can kick on again next year in League 1.”
To become an established SPFL side has been an ambition Cove have held for many years.
On the pitch over the last decade Watson was one of the driving forces in trying to make it happen and he takes pride in seeing what Cove have achieved.
He added: “As a club Cove have been gearing up to try to make this progression for a number of years.
“I do feel pride in helping them on the journey and in the nucleus of the team there are guys like Blair Yule, Connor Scully and Harry Milne, who started with us when they were boys.
“They came in at a young age and now they’re playing week in, week out in that team, which is great.”
Watson believes the promotion of the likes of Cove and Edinburgh City has been good for Scottish football with the lower leagues given a shake-up.
This season’s Highland League champions Brora Rangers and Lowland League winners Kelty Hearts won’t get the chance to play off for a place in the SPFL as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak.
They could still be elevated to the Scottish League set-up if reconstruction – which is being debated by an SPFL taskforce – is approved.
Watson said: “It’s unprecedented times – nobody could foresee this or have a back-up plan.
“So the people making decisions are just trying to muddle through as best they can and make tough decisions.
“Brora and Kelty have both done really well this season and were keen to have a crack at going up.
“It will be tough on them to say ‘sorry you’re not getting up’. It will be interesting to see what happens.”