Cove Rangers have announced the signing of Hearts centre-back Arron Darge.
A product of the Tynecastle outfit’s youth academy, Darge arrives at Balmoral Stadium with experience in the Lowland League with the Jambos’ B team, while the 20-year-old also spent last term on loan at League Two Kelty Hearts.
Defender Darge – the latest signing in Paul Hartley’s rebuild following Cove’s relegation from the Championship and decision to transition to a full-time model – has signed a two-year deal.
He said: “The fact that Cove are moving to full-time football played a big part in my decision to come here, and I think that working with the manager and coaching staff will help me to improve my all-round game.
“While I do like to step out with the ball on occasion, my main strength is defending, and whichever position I play, that will be what I’ll be focusing on.”
Darge thinks his experiences in recent campaigns will serve him well for the step up to League One with Cove, adding: “I had a great time at Hearts, worked with so many good people, and that gave me a start in football. I learned so much there.
“Going out on loan in the second half of last season was important for my development and playing in midfield took me out of my comfort zone. It was a big test, but I think I benefitted from it, and I really enjoyed it.”
Cove boss Hartley also noted Darge’s versatility, saying: “He had a good loan spell at Kelty, we watched him there, and I’ve got no doubt he can make a big contribution for us.
“Arron is mainly a centre-half, but he has filled in at right-back, and he’s also played one up in the midfield. He definitely gives us some good options.
“He’s full of energy and drive, is a strong player, and the perfect profile for us.
“I spoke to Robbie Neilson, who could not have been more positive about Arron, and given more experience, he is going to be a really good player for us in the future.”