Paul Hartley will give Hamish Ritchie his chance in the SPFL after the midfielder joined on loan from Inverurie Locos.
Ritchie, who only joined the Highland League side in the summer, signed a short-term deal until January prior to kick-off of Saturday’s game against Partick Thistle.
He is the final signing of the summer window for Cove, with the deadline for loans closing on Saturday night.
Hartley has stressed the need for all his squad to contribute in this shortened season, with games coming thick and fast over the coming weeks.
✍️ We are delighted to confirm the loan signing of Inverurie Locos midfielder Hamish Ritchie
Hamish, 22, has moved to Balmoral Stadium until January and goes straight into the squad for this afternoon’s League One clash with Partick Thistle
— Cove Rangers FC (@CoveRangersFC) October 31, 2020
He said: “He’s come in and looked the part. With the Highland League not starting, we looked at him and liked what we saw.
“We’ve got him on loan for the next couple of months. Everyone will play their part; it’s a 27-game league but we’ve got to make sure we use the whole squad.”
Ritchie returned from four years studying in the United States, where he played for Hartwick College and Seattle University, to join Locos.
However, with the Highland League season delayed until November 28 at the earliest, he has taken the opportunity for game-time with the League One leaders.
Cove have started the season in impressive form, winning all three league games, with their latest triumph coming in the 1-0 win over Partick Thistle at the Balmoral Stadium on Saturday.
It extended their winning run at home to 16 league games, dating back to the start of the 2019-20 season when they made their SPFL debut.
Hartley added: “There’s no better way to win the game. Our home record is phenomenal. That’s 16 home wins on the bounce, against a really strong Partick Thistle team. I’d have been happy with a point – to get the win is magnificent.
“We looked just as fit as Partick Thistle. We dug another result out. We know we can play a lot better but conditions didn’t allow it. Defensively we were superb.
“Blair Yule was fantastic. He’s been outstanding the first three games of the season. We looked solid and it’s another clean sheet.
“We’ve got to keep going. This league is so tough – there’s never going to be an easy game but when teams come here, they’ll certainly know they’ve been in a game against us.”