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Dave Cormack wants to see more promotion from the Highland and Lowland Leagues following success of Cove Rangers and Kelty Hearts

Cove Rangers captain Mitch Megginson lifts the League One title
Cove Rangers captain Mitch Megginson lifts the League One title.

Aberdeen chairman Dave Cormack believes Cove Rangers show why it should be easier for Highland League and Lowland League clubs to win promotion to the SPFL.

Cove won promotion to the Championship on Saturday by beating Dumbarton 1-0 to claim the League One title.

The Balmoral Stadium side haven’t looked back since winning promotion to the SPFL in 2019.

They are the only Highland League side to make it through the pyramid play-offs, defeating Lowland League champions East Kilbride then thumping Berwick Rangers 7-0 on aggregate.

This season’s Highland League champions Fraserburgh have their work cut out if they are to follow Cove into the SPFL.

They trail Lowland League winners Bonnyrigg Rose 3-1 heading into this Saturday’s semi-final second leg at Bellslea with the winners going on to face Cowdenbeath for a place in the SPFL.

Cormack said: “I think there should be competition top to bottom.

“It should be an open pyramid for clubs to do well.

“Cove are an example of that as are Kelty Hearts.

Aberdeen chairman Dave Cormack.

“Competition is a healthy thing. It just shows you what you can do with a bit of investment and the right strategy and approach.

“I can imagine that Kelty Hearts will also come through the divisions.

“I think for Aberdeen, it is healthy.

“Competition is good.

“I’m really pleased for Keith (Moorhouse) and the guys at Cove.

“What I would like to see is a pyramid that is much more open with more promotion and relegation from League Two so that other clubs like that can come through.”

VAR introduction ‘absolutely essential’

Cormack also feels the introduction of VAR (video assistant referees) later this year will also be a major step forward for Scottish football.

VAR will be introduced to the Scottish Premiership following the World Cup break later this year.

Cormack said: “I thought it was absolutely essential for Scottish football.

“I have a lot of sympathy for referees and I think it will help them.

“We have seen decisions throughout the season go against most clubs. We have certainly had our fair share against us that would have been addressed if VAR was there.

“It is important for Scottish football as there is so much at stake financially.

“It is coming in mid-season but we are not the only country that has done that.

“The reality is we need to put the infrastructure in place and get the training right.

“We were part of an under-18 game in the last few weeks when VAR was being tested.

“They need the time until after the World Cup to perfect it. I think that’s a good thing.”

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