Cove Rangers boss Paul Hartley is delighted his patience has paid off after landing Matty Shiels at the second attempt.
The Cove manager missed out on Shiels in the summer and is delighted to have been able to bring the defender to Balmoral Stadium for the rest of the season from Dumbarton.
Hartley said: “I’ve had an eye on Matty for a while.
“We tried to get him in the summer when he left Hamilton and then we heard there was another chance in this window so we’re delighted to have him.
“He’s at a good age and has good experience. He came through the academy at Rangers and had a couple of loan spells. Matty also did well at Hamilton.
“He offers a good presence at the back but I know I can throw him up front as he started as a striker.
“He is young, enthusiastic and wants to do well.”
‘Lawal wanted to be here’
🔵 We are delighted to confirm the arrival of Ola Lawal from Falkirk on loan for the rest of the season.
The twenty-two year old goes straight into the squad for the weekend.
Welcome to Cove, Ola 🤝#CRFC
— Cove Rangers FC (@CoveRangersFC) January 24, 2024
Shiels was one of two new arrivals at the club this week with Ola Lawal joining on loan from Falkirk for the rest of the campaign.
Hartley is excited to see the young striker in action and believes the attacker can add a different dimension to the forward line.
The Cove manager said: “I spoke to Rumarn Burrell as he played with Ola and we feel he has a lot of talent. He is technically very good and he will add quality to the team.
“Ola brings creativity. He can play at number 10 or off the side and he will create for us.
“Ola hasn’t played a lot this season but he can offer us something and put himself in the shop window also.
“He is out of contract at the end of the season and if he does well you never know what can happen.
“The big thing for me is that he really wanted to come here. Ola wants to play and he has looked really bright and sharp in training this week.”
Hartley’s transfer business concluded?
It has been a busy period at Balmoral Stadium with Mark Gallagher joining Dayshonne Golding in making a loan move to Elgin City.
Tyler Mykyta has joined Forfar while Luke Strachan has been loaned to Brechin City.
Hartley is not anticipating further moves before the window closes next week.
He said: “I can’t see anybody else coming in. We’ve put quite a lot out to balance the books.
“These younger players need experience and they are better playing on a Saturday than not playing.”
Fyvie extends deal until 2026
Hartley, meanwhile, was delighted that influential midfielder Fraser Fyvie has signed a new deal until the summer of 2026.
The former Hibernian and Aberdeen midfielder, who is nearing a return from a knee injury, has scored 22 goals in 116 appearances since joining Cove in 2019.
The Cove boss said: “Fraser has been a key player ever since I came to the club, obviously I brought him here in the first place, so I know what he has to offer.
“He is influential, definitely one of best midfielders in the division, so hopefully we can get him back soon. We have absolutely missed his quality.”
✍️ Fraser Fyvie is the latest player to commit his future to the club by signing a new contract.
The influential midfielder has agreed a new two-year deal which will keep him at Balmoral Stadium until the summer of 2026.
— Cove Rangers FC (@CoveRangersFC) January 26, 2024
Back to league action as Queens visit
Following the postponement of their Scottish Cup tie at Brora Rangers last weekend Cove return to league action today when they host Queen of the South.
Hartley’s side have a seven point lead in third place in the race for the play-offs and the manager is eager to widen the gap.
He said: “We’re looking forward to the game as we look to push on in the second half of the season.
“Queens have good players in the final third and we’ve faced them a few times. The last time down there was tight and the game here was the same.
“They are trying to get in the play-offs and we’re in there just now and looking to make the gap bigger.
“Every game in this league is tough.”
Mickey Doyle is suspended following his dismissal in the last league game at Hamilton.