Cove Rangers 'ambitious' but priority is 'survival' in first SPFL season - Keith Moorhouse

Cove Rangers celebrate their promotion
Cove Rangers thumped Berwick Rangers to enter the SPFL for the first time

Cove Rangers' Keith Moorhouse says "realistically, it is about survival" as they prepare to make their Scottish Professional Football League debut.

The Highland League champions swept Berwick Rangers aside 7-0 on aggregate in the League Two Play-off final.

"At this minute in time, we really need to manage expectation," Moorhouse said.

Cove's chairman was speaking as they announced a three-year, six-figure shirt sponsorship deal with city freight forwarding firm ACE Group.

Last summer, Cove moved into their new 2,600-capacity Balmoral Stadium in the south of Aberdeen.

A year later, they won the Highland League title for a second year running, only losing one game as they finished eight points ahead of Brora Rangers.

They went on to ease aside Lowland League champions East Kilbride and then Berwick, who had finished bottom of League Two and drop out of the SPFL.

Moorhouse pointed out that "we are an ambitious club" but warned that they cannot "get carried away with what happened last season".

"Make no bones about it, next season will be tough," he said. "It will not be anything like last year."

Cove kick-off their first season in the SPFL at home to Edinburgh City on 3 August and, although Moorhouse hopes they can climb further up the ladder, he is coy about how far the club can go.

"We have a five-year plan, which got signed off by the board last week," he revealed. "That will stay locked away in a drawer until the five years are up and we then see where we are.

"We have got every potential. The potential is open-ended. We are in a big city, we have got a lot of good people in the club, we have got a lot of good people backing the club.

"Can we get to the Premiership? Unlikely. We certainly think League One is achievable and then we will take stock then."

Sheran position awaited

Cove Rangers manager John Sheran celebrates
John Sheran was present but not in the dugout as Cove beat Berwick

Meanwhile, manager John Sheran is well on the road to recovery after suffering a heart attack at the end of April.

However, it remains unclear if the 58-year-old will be back in the dugout in time for the trip to face his former club, Peterhead, in their opening League Cup group game on 13 July.

"He gets home from his holidays on Saturday, so we will know then," Moorhouse added. "I have spoken to John every day for the last three weeks and we will make things clearer next week."

Top Stories

Around Scottish sport