Mathieson happy Cove are at Balmoral for first taste of SPFL action

Graeme Mathieson in the home leg of last season's SPFL play-off final against Berwick.
Picture by Scott Baxter
Graeme Mathieson in the home leg of last season's SPFL play-off final against Berwick. Picture by Scott Baxter

Cove co-manager Graeme Mathieson is delighted they will start their inaugural season in the SPFL at home.

The Highland League champions’ debut campaign in League Two gets underway on Saturday August 3 against Edinburgh City at the Balmoral Stadium.

Then the Granite City side are away to Albion Rovers (August 10), at home to Cowdenbeath (August 17), away to Stirling Albion (August 24), at home to Queen’s Park (August 31) before tackling Brechin City at Glebe Park (September 14).

Cove finish the first round of fixtures by visiting Borough Briggs to play Elgin (September 21), welcoming Annan to the Balmoral Stadium (September 28) and facing Stenhousemuir at Ochilview (October 5).

Mathieson, who is joint-boss along with John Sheran, said: “We’re going into a new league for the first time and it’s always great to start at home, but particularly going into a new league.

“This is a showcase game for the club and the fans so it’s nice to be at home.

“I see Edinburgh City as a benchmark for us and a team we can take inspiration from.

“I’ve followed them since we played them in the pyramid play-offs in 2016.

“I see them being up there as one of the main contenders for the title and the play-offs.

“So we couldn’t have wished for a tougher task, but it will be good to test ourselves against them on the opening day.

“Hopefully we can get off to a good start. We’ll be presented with the Highland League flag and I’m sure there will be a good crowd.

“We can’t wait to get started now. There’s a buzz about the place and everyone is desperate to get going.”

Meanwhile, 36-year-old striker Paul McManus has signed for Brechin after his Cove contract expired.

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