Cove Rangers co-manager Graeme Mathieson says he is savouring their promotion because he thought he might not get the chance to take the club into the SPFL.
The Highland League champions became a Scottish League side on Saturday after their 3-0 win over Berwick Rangers at Shielfield Park.
That secured a 7-0 aggregate success against the Wee Gers in the pyramid play-off final.
Cove’s long-held ambition has been to get into the SPFL with this their third crack at the play-offs.
In 2016 they lost 4-1 on aggregate to Edinburgh City in the semi-final and 12 months ago the Granite City side were on the end of a painful and controversial final defeat to Cowdenbeath.
Mathieson, joint boss at the Balmoral Stadium with John Sheran, admits he privately wondered if the club’s board would turn to a new management team last summer to try to change their luck.
He said: “In two seasons I’ve gone from the worst game of my life to the best.
“When I walked away from that game at Cowdenbeath it was awful – I didn’t want to see a football again.
“But we thought ‘right, we’ll have another go at it’ and things have changed. I’ve had the best experience in football this season.
“It would have been easy to start the season on a downer after what happened, but we didn’t.
“You could even have had a situation where the club wanted to go down another route and try somebody else in charge.
“But we had a meeting together and we gave it another go. And when you get back on the training pitch, working with the players again, you have that enthusiasm.
“Of course I thought I might not have been at the club. A club like Cove looks to win something every season and the club wanted to get promoted.
“The Cowdenbeath defeat was my second attempt in the play-offs and when we didn’t go up you wonder if the club might think about trying to freshen it up.
“But they didn’t which just shows the backing we’ve had from the chairman Keith Moorhouse and right through the club.
“They gave us another shot at it and here we are.”
Mathieson and first-team coach Roy McBain took charge of Cove in the play-offs against Berwick and East Kilbride with Sheran recovering from a heart attack suffered last month.
It was a traumatic period for everyone connected with Cove. But Mathieson has praised the players for the way they’ve handled themselves over the last month and the course of the season.
The Cove squad have created history by becoming the first Highland League side to be promoted through the play-offs.
Mathieson added: “Over the last few weeks the players have been fantastic.
“We have a great bunch of lads with good ability, but their attitude and focus to get where they have in the last four weeks has been amazing.
“They’ve really been focused, worked hard at training and done everything we’ve asked of them.
“They only work with us three hours a week so they look after themselves and keep themselves fit. They’re a fantastic bunch of players.”
Mathieson believes Cove can perform well on their League Two bow, but says they will still look to strengthen their squad this summer.
He said: “If you look at the players we’ve got who have been at Peterhead and Aberdeen and other senior teams I think we have a really strong squad.
“I think we can go into the Scottish league and give a really good account of ourselves. But we’ll be looking to strengthen the squad again.”