Cove Rangers’ Harry Milne wants every team to leave the Balmoral Stadium feeling like Edinburgh City this season.
The promoted Highland champions announced themselves on the SPFL stage on Saturday by thumping one of League Two’s top sides 5-0.
Many onlookers’ view that Cove are title contenders has been hardened by the result.
Left-back Milne, who scored the Granite City side’s third and fourth against the Citizens, said: “We’re absolutely buzzing with the start.
“It’s important we got off to a good start and make a point of making the Balmoral a really tough place to go this year.
“It’s a long way to come for a lot of teams and we want them going down the road thinking they’ve had a really hard game.
“Edinburgh will have felt like that on Saturday.”
Paul Hartley’s team had looked sharp in the Betfred Cup, but most wouldn’t have expected the league opener to be as one-sided as it turned out.
If the occasion got to Cove, it only served to spur them on.
Milne said: “There was a wee bit of butterflies, but more excitement than nerves.
“Everyone was just desperate to get started with it. We know this is where we belong and we’ve done well to get up.
“Edinburgh were good. They started both halves really well.
“But once we got a foot on the ball, started passing it and using the size of the pitch, I thought we dragged them around and all the rest of it.
“With boys like Glassy (Dundee United loanee Declan Glass) and Canto (Aberdeen loanee Chris Antoniazzi) getting in those wee pockets, it’s difficult for them to pick up.
“The quality of the team this year is unbelievable with the players we had on the bench against Edinburgh.
“They are hugely experienced guys, brilliant players.
“That’s the competition for places there is going to be this year.”
Milne was pleased to mark his performance in potentially Cove’s most important moment with an assist and two goals.
It was the dynamic defender’s cross-cum-shot that Mitch Megginson prodded home to open the scoring.
Of the assist, Milne said: “I sclaffed it a bit, but it worked out well and I’m delighted to get two goals.
“It might be the only two I get this year, but I’m happy with that.”
Hartley and his players have tried to temper expectations for the league campaign, but the fans’ excitement will be at boiling point after Saturday.
Still, Milne thinks it’s too early to start talking up Cove’s chances of taking another step up at the first attempt just yet.
He said: “A lot of the expectation for a lot of people was survival, but many of us knew we could do better than that.
“We don’t want to get too far ahead of ourselves. It’s a great start, but there are 34 more games to play. Anything could happen.”
Cove’s attention turns away from League Two tonight, with a trip to Perth to play St Johnstone colts in the Tunnock’s Caramel Wafer Challenge Cup.
Hartley has made it clear to his side he’ll expect victory in every game this year.
Milne said: “(We’ll try to do the) same again. I don’t know if there’ll be any changes to the team, but we’ll just go down there.
“We’ve prepared well and had a look at them already.
“Everyone will be ready, that’s for sure.”