Cove Rangers chairman Keith Moorhouse insists the League One fixtures being released gives the club a great chance to look forward.
Their place in the third tier was finally confirmed this week after the outcome of the arbitration case between Hearts, Partick Thistle and the SPFL, was decided in the governing body’s favour.
Cove will start their League One campaign at home to East Fife, before a derby trip to Balmoor to face Peterhead. They round out October by facing Thistle at the Balmoral Stadium on Halloween.
It has been a head-spinning period for the Aberdeen side, who were comfortably clear at the top of League Two when football stopped in March but their promotion came under threat.
Moorhouse said: “I don’t think I’ve ever encountered anything quite like this. You’ve got the season stopping early, the reconstruction talks – is it going to happen? Is it not? – where do we fit in here? When all that was brought to a close, we then had the legal case to go through. It’s been pretty challenging not just for me but for other people at the football club. But we did what we felt was right and we’re now looking forward, not back.
“To be able to now start talking about football again and moving forward is a great place to be. It’s what the whole club was working for last season. I’m delighted we’re now talking about fixtures and planning for the season ahead.
“We need to be mindful of the fact we’re now in League One and be respectful to the teams in League One. We’re still the new kids on the block – any game is going to be difficult and we’re under no illusions League One will not be the same as League Two. We need to be ready for that.”
Their other derbies against Peterhead will be on January 2 in Aberdeen and March 13 at Balmoor. They will finish the season away to Montrose and are on the road to Forfar Athletic on Boxing Day.
Moorhouse added: “I think there’s some cracking games that lie ahead. Peterhead, Montrose, Forfar; four clubs north of Dundee and mini-derbies between those clubs over the course of the season. You’ve got the two full-time clubs, Falkirk and Partick Thistle, that we need to be respectful to.
“There’s not an easy game in that league. You just need to look at the teams in that league and where they landed last season to know this is going to be a fair challenge for us. But one we’ll be ready for.
“We’ve never hidden the fact we’re an ambitious club and have got plans in place to get us where we want to be. This is the next step; it’s come along quicker than we expected but we’ll be prepared. We’ll give it our best shot.”
Work on strengthening their squad for the new campaign will now gather pace, with manager Paul Hartley already identifying his targets to the club at the end of last season.
Moorhouse said: “If you look at where we are, we just got confirmation this week that we’re in League One and the fixture list is now out, so we can start planning properly. From that point of view, the manager knows what he wants and was aware of that at the end of last season.
“It’s now a case of pushing on, getting some meetings and making some offers.”