Cove Rangers manager Paul Hartley has hailed great servant Blair Yule after the midfielder was awarded a testimonial by the club.
Yule, who joined Cove in 2010, has spent almost his entire career with the League One side, with his service interrupted by one season with Arbroath.
The 30-year-old midfielder remains an integral member of the squad and recently signed a contract extension to the summer of 2025.
Cove boss Hartley insists the testimonial for Yule, who is nearing a comeback from a knee injury which has sidelined him since April, is richly deserved.
He said: “Blair is a good servant going back to the Highland League days and his testimonial is well deserved.
“He’s a player who has given us great service over the years.
“We’re hoping to get him back soon as he’s a big player for us.”
🥳 Happy Birthday to our number 8️⃣, Blair Yule!
— Cove Rangers FC (@CoveRangersFC) August 23, 2023
Megginson back with a bang and Fyvie could return this weekend
Fraser Fyvie is also nearing a comeback and could feature against Queen of the South this weekend after missing the start of the campaign.
The return of experienced players is important for Hartley and his new squad.
Club captain Mitch Megginson made his return from injury by scoring in the 3-0 win at Montrose last weekend – and it is clear the skipper remains a vital member of the team.
Hartley said: “Staying injury-free is the big thing for Mitch.
“He’s had some niggles, and once you get into your 30s, you have to make sure you look after yourself well and do all the things away from football.
“We can’t control the part-time guys. We can give them all programmes, but they have to do it themselves.
“Keeping fit will be important for him and for us.”
Cove boss looking to team to build on first win last weekend
Megginson linked up well with summer arrivals Rumarn Burrell and Scott Williamson, who were also on the scoresheet.
With 20 new first-team squad members at the club, Hartley once again stressed patience is key as he beds in his new arrivals.
But it is clear there are promising signs for the Cove manager.
Hartley said: “The front three were good last week. They all scored, which was good. That’s what we want to see, our front players scoring goals, and they linked up well.”
“It does take a bit of time, it’s a work in progress. We’ve got to keep working and doing the basic things well.
“But last week we felt good and, with the number of chances we created, we could have scored more. We’ve got to maintain the same standard and build on last week.
“Our job is to make the players better and improve the squad by working with them. It does take time, but I’m seeing good signs.
“It’s a new group and they are all still getting to know each other.”
Following games against Hamilton, Falkirk and Montrose, Cove welcome third-placed Queen of the South to Balmoral Stadium on Saturday.
With four points from their opening three games, Hartley knows it is important his side build momentum in the weeks ahead.
He said: “It has been a tough start for us, but you have got to play everybody. You won’t know where you are until after the first quarter of games.
“It was the same coming into League One a couple of years ago.
“It was a tough start, but it is what it is.
“All you can do is keep working hard.”