The man who created history by leading Cove Rangers into the SPFL is back in football as assistant manager to Kris Hunter at Turriff United.
With his co-manager John Sheran sidelined by a heart attack, Graeme Mathieson, along with former Cove first-team coach Roy McBain, masterminded the back-to-back Highland League champions’ route through a couple of tricky two-legged pyramid play-offs.
Firstly they safely negotiated past Lowland League champions East Kilbride, then took Berwick Rangers apart to reach League 2.
A fortnight ago Cove announced a shock managerial shake-up which saw Sheran move upstairs as director of football and despite their significant achievement, both Mathieson and McBain were informed that their services were no longer required.
Mathieson, 54, who runs his own joinery business in Aberdeen, is delighted to be back in a league where he feels right at home.
He said: “I’m so pleased to get back into football again and I’m more than happy to be going to join Kris Hunter, who called me just after I’d left Cove, as his assistant.
“It gives me the opportunity to work with a totally different kind of squad to what I had at Cove – a lot of young and one or two older, more experienced guys. I’m excited about going back to coach youngsters different aspects of the game to help them develop.
“I would have loved to manage in the SPFL, but I’m really delighted to be going back into the footballing family that is the Highland League.”
Mathieson also revealed that his Cove buddy, former Ross County and Caley Thistle defender Roy McBain, may also be joining him at the Haughs as player-coach.
Mathieson added: “We’re pretty close to getting Roy on-board as I’ve done a sales-pitch on Turriff to him.
“I coached Roy when he first came to Cove and I’ve worked alongside him as a coach. He’s a great lad, the kind of guy young players will look up to. If he comes here as player-coach he’ll be a massive help.
“Roy’s supremely fit and even at the age of 43 having him on the pitch alongside the kids would be fantastic.”
United manager Hunter is absolutely delighted to have attracted Mathieson to the Haughs, and said: “I’m really chuffed that I’ve managed to get Graeme on-board. I tried to take him to Formartine United when I was there, but at that time he decided to stay at Cove.
“When I knew that he had been relieved of his post at Cove I made contact as I have a really high opinion of him as a coach and for how he progressed Cove.
“To win the play-offs showed just how good a coach and a manager he is. He loves to coach youngsters so he’s an ideal fit for us.”