Each year of Harry Milne’s Cove Rangers career has brought success.
Be it trophies or promotions, Milne has enjoyed the rewards of the season’s work at the end with a tangible prize.
That made his decision to sign a new contract with the ambitious League 2 leaders this week all the more simple to make. Milne committed his future to club until 2022, the same year as manager Paul Hartley signed for in the summer when he took over the managerial reins.
Milne has won the Highland League Cup, Aberdeenshire Cup, Aberdeenshire Shield and three Highland League titles during his time as a Cove first-teamer. His side are currently top of Scotland’s fourth tier in their first season as an SPFL club. If success breeds success, Milne wants to be part of it.
He said: “This is my fifth year here and I’ve enjoyed it so far. I’ve enjoyed each season for different reasons; we’ve won trophies and promotions and I’m happy to commit for the next couple years. Being out of contract at the end of the year, it’s good to have something tied up.
“There was a bit of an adjustment period at first when the manager came but it’s the same with any change of manager. We’re in full flow now and everyone is buying into their ideas – I’ve got a good relationship with the coaches.”
Hartley spoke glowingly this week of Milne’s abilities as an attacking force from left-back, but also that there was still more to come from the 23-year-old.
That desire to improve is shared by both player and manager, with 191 appearances already under his belt since joining the club in 2014.
Milne added: “They (Hartley and his coaching staff) have got good ideas how I can improve personally. They have been good with me and speak one-on-one about how I can get better.
“It’s not just me but the rest of the squad as well. They are pushing us to be better. I try to show every week I deserve to be in the team and no-one holds back in training. It’s a good environment to be in.”
Milne will likely sit out today’s visit of Stenhousemuir to recuperate a hamstring injury picked up against Annan Athletic. They are in unfamiliar territory of sorts; not being top of the league, a position that has become a second home to them in recent years. But it is not often Cove have lost back-to-back games, with the 6-1 humbling at Annan followed up by a 2-1 defeat to Edinburgh City last weekend.
“They were two tough games,” Milne said. “But if you said we’d still be top this close to Christmas then we would have taken it. I don’t think I would have expected us to be top but seeing how we’ve adjusted, how good the squad is and the additions that have come in, it’s no real surprise to see where we are.
“We’ve had a couple of knockbacks and we have the chance in this busy period to pick up results and show it was just a blip.”