Stuart Duff says it was no surprise to see Cove Rangers win the League Two title in their first season in the SPFL.
The Granite City side were 13 points clear at the top of the table when they were declared champions last month after a vote to end the lower league seasons was passed.
Unless reconstruction, which is being debated, drastically alters the Scottish league set-up, the Balmoral Stadium outfit will be playing in League One next season.
Midfielder Duff played for Cove from October 2014 until January 2017 when they were striving to reach the SPFL.
He helped them win the Highland League Cup in 2015 and the league title a year later.
Duff was part of the Cove squad who lost out to Edinburgh City in the 2016 pyramid play-offs, but is pleased with the progress they have made since their promotion.
The Banks o’ Dee player and Aberdeen youth coach said: “As a club in the Highland League Cove were ready for that next step up with the infrastructure they have.
“They have a squad of players with the calibre to play at a higher level.
“They got themselves up there and this season I think they’ve been a breath of fresh air.
“The attractive football they’ve played has been great. There haven’t been many games where they’ve scored less than two goals.
“They’re a very attacking team who like to get the ball down and play.
“They’ve got good quality right through the squad so I wasn’t really that surprised with how they’ve done and it was fair that they were awarded the title.
“I don’t think anybody could have any complaints about that because over the piece they were the best team in the league.”
Most of Duff’s time with Cove saw them without a home ground after Allan Park was closed in 2015.
In 2018 they eventually moved into the new stadium and Duff believes the facility is exactly what Cove required if they are to continue to progress.
He also believes such an impressive set-up may help manager Paul Hartley attract new signings.
The ex-Aberdeen and Dundee United man added: “If you’re looking to get promotion through the leagues and even for attracting players the set-up they’ve got at the Balmoral Stadium is fantastic.
“The pitch, dressing rooms and corporate areas at the ground are all great so they have the things in place to attract the better calibre of player.
“When they were looking to get the stadium built it was just a situation the players found themselves in where we played out of other grounds.
“We had a strong mentality in the team that it didn’t matter where we played – whatever the ground we felt we should still be able to go out and perform.
“Fortunately we were able to do that in my time and I think Cove have improved with the new stadium.
“They play in a way which suits the pitch they’ve got and with the set-up they have, it will help Paul Hartley attract good players to join the club.”