Moorhouse: No better duo for SPFL bow than Hartley and Young

Cove Rangers chairman Keith Moorhouse
Cove Rangers chairman Keith Moorhouse

Cove Rangers chairman Keith Moorhouse believes he has got the perfect management team in place for the start of their SPFL journey.

Paul Hartley has been appointed as manager with Gordon Young as assistant and Tam Ritchie as fitness coach.

Following promotion in the pyramid play-offs last season, co-manager John Sheran has decided to step away from the dugout after suffering a heart attack in April, and has now become director of football at the Balmoral Stadium.

Moorhouse and the Cove board moved quickly to appoint a new management team as they gear up for a first season in League 2.

He said: “I’m really pleased and very excited. It’s been a really short week from the phone call John and I had last week when he decided it was time to face up to life and make his call.

“We respect that decision completely and we’re delighted that John is staying on because he gives us that character and continuity.

“He’s been a large part of the success we’ve had during both his spells with the club.

“It’s given us a chance to have a look at what we have and what we could have.

“We took a bit of time to think about what was the right fit for the club and Paul and Gordon, we believe, bring something going forward that the club needs.

“They’ve got a proven track record, experience and knowledge of the Scottish leagues.

“It was a tough call but we feel we made the right one.

“I knew Paul slightly before he came to help out at the back end of last season and we always got on well.

“I feel there’s a good relationship starting to develop and I believe in Paul and he believes in what we’re trying to achieve.

“Bringing in Gordon with the CV he’s got, you couldn’t really get a better pairing at this minute in time for the journey we’re about to start.”

Hartley assisted with Cove training sessions at the end of last season following Sheran’s heart attack.

Moorhouse says the players reacted well to him during that period and believes the same will happen again as the Highland League champions start a new journey in the SPFL.

He added: “The fact we had somebody of Paul’s calibre coming to do what he did and help the team that was in place at the time was absolutely brilliant.

“I’m sure it had a real impact and we’re thankful to everyone who helped us get into the SPFL.

“The dressing room reacted well and I’m sure it will react well when they meet Paul again.

“We’re in a good place right now. We have the backing of the city and have a lot of goodwill from the businesses of the city.

“Our fanbase has grown by I don’t know how many multiples in the last season.

“We’re at an exciting time so if we can hit the ground running then hopefully we can kick on thereafter.

“But we also need to be realistic. We were a Highland League club a few months ago.

“We put in place things that allow us to progress, but we’re not expecting miracles overnight.

“We’re not going to make the Champions League next year!

“We need to be realistic, the guys need to get time to settle in and the players need to get used to the new management team.”