Cove Rangers midfielder Jamie Masson thinks Saturday’s League Two opener with Edinburgh City has the potential to be a cracker.
The capital outfit visit the Balmoral Stadium to take on Paul Hartley’s team, who will be making their debut in Scottish league football after promotion from the Highland League.
Both sides picked up results in the Betfred Cup group stage. Cove thumped League One full-timers Raith Rovers 3-0 at the weekend, while Edinburgh beat Championship Dunfermline 1-0 earlier in the competition.
While Cove also managed a draw with second-tier Dundee and ran Inverness close, their rivals’ other fixtures didn’t go so well, with losses to East Kilbride and Albion Rovers in their last two outings.
However, Masson believes the somewhat nerve-wracking game – one of the biggest in Cove’s history – should be a corker.
He said: “It’s a massive game. Some boys will go into it nervous, which can sometimes be a good thing.
“I think as soon as you get your first touch and get going, you gel together as a team and kick on from there. We’re looking forward to training, and then getting started on Saturday.
“We’ve shown against the full-time teams we’re good enough, but Edinburgh are the same.
“They’ve picked up a good result in the Betfred and it should be a good game.”
Hartley’s team aren’t short on confidence after goals from Masson, Chris Antoniazzi and Declan Glass saw them cruise by Raith.
Masson’s goal was teed up by Dundee United loanee Glass – his third assist in two games – and the ex-Aberdeen man produced a lethal side-footed finish from just inside the area.
With Mitch Megginson, Connor Scully, Jamie Redman and Darryn Kelly all missing the game, Cove should only get better.
Masson said: “It was good to end the last (Betfred Cup) game with a win, and hopefully it takes us into Saturday with a lot of confidence.
“I was buzzing to get the goal. I just tried to keep my head down, because normally those go sky high, but I kept it down and thankfully it went in the back of the net.
“I think we’re shaping up very well. Mitch (Megginson) was suspended on Saturday, (Jamie) Redman was injured, but we’ve got a few coming back now.
“It’ll be good when we’ve got the full squad and there’s a challenge for places – it’ll be competitive.”
Masson has been impressed by Glass and Aberdeen loanee Antoniazzi, who made his debut against Raith.
He said: “They’re really good. They’re just young lads and run about.
“They’ve started off great. Obviously Declan played on Tuesday (against Caley), he set up the two goals, and Canto was good on Saturday. I’m looking forward to seeing how they get on this season.”
Meanwhile, Cove have allowed midfielder Grant Campbell to join former club Huntly on a season-long loan.
The ex-Wick player is looking for regular game time after a knee injury limited his appearances last term.
Cove boss Hartley said: “Grant has recently returned from a long term knee injury and it’s important for him to go out and build up his match fitness at this stage of his recovery. Huntly can provide him that at this point in time.”
Huntly gaffer Martin Skinner said: “It’s a massive statement shown by the club. On his day he could walk into any team in the Highland League and play week in week out.”
Meanwhile, the Black and Golds have put left-back Blair Johnston up for sale.