Before he had even met his new team-mates Jamie Redman felt sure the Cove Rangers squad is one that can succeed in the SPFL.
After signing for the Granite City side ahead of their first campaign in League Two, Redman was added to the players’ Whatsapp chat by captain Mitch Megginson.
Interacting with his colleagues, the midfielder could sense straight away he had joined a close-knit dressing room.
And the former Peterhead and Montrose midfielder, 32, believes that will serve them well in League Two this season.
Redman said: “I know the standard we need to get to from where I’ve been.
“I can gauge by the togetherness of the team that we won’t be a soft touch by any means.
“The boys here care about the the club and hopefully that will show on the pitch.
“Coming in you can tell it’s a group that are close, used to winning and enjoy winning.
“It’s hard to have a bad atmosphere when that’s the case.
“As soon as I got thrown in the Whatsapp group weeks before I met anyone it was pretty obvious it was a good group.
“Mitch is admin and captain so he chucked me in to the group.
“There’s the right time to have a laugh and the right time to focus as well, and I’m sure that balance will be right.”
Redman hopes he can be a regular for Cove, but even with his SPFL experience knows it won’t be easy to nail down a place in the Balmoral Stadium side.
Connor Scully and Blair Yule were the established central midfield pairing last season as Cove won the treble of the Highland League, Highland League Cup and Evening Express Aberdeenshire Cup as well as promotion. But Redman hopes he can rise to the challenge and become a regular fixture in the middle of the park.
He added: “I don’t think you’ll find a footballer who doesn’t want to play regularly.
“It will be tough because Blair Yule and Connor Scully were standouts last season for this team.
“I’ll have to be at my best to get in the team and stay there but that’s what I’m aiming to do.
“Competition is something you need for a club to get better.
“If the starting 11 always feel guaranteed of their place they won’t improve. I’m sure over the coming weeks we’ll be adding to the squad and there will be even more competition for places.”
For everyone at Cove the initial target is surviving in League Two this campaign.
But Redman knows that the long-term ambition is to go higher and hopes this season can be the beginning of a progression up the Scottish football pyramid.
He said: “The ambition is clear – you can’t have facilities like the Balmoral Stadium and just want to stay in League Two.
“Surviving is the first target in our first season in League Two.
“But beyond that the ambition is to go higher. You can’t get ahead of yourself.
“It takes time to progress and the major step was taken last season by getting into the SPFL, that’s the start of the journey.”