Peterhead assistant manager Davie Nicholls believes joining Jim McInally at Balmoor is one of the best decisions he has made.
McInally, the longest serving manager in Scottish football, celebrates 10 years in the Blue Toon hotseat this Thursday and Nicholls has been alongside him every step of the way.
The 49-year-old admitted he was initially unsure about the move, given the lengthy travel involved from his home in Glasgow.
But after deciding the opportunity was too good to turn down, Nicholls has played his part in helping Peterhead to two League Two successes in 2014 and 2019 as well as a memorable run to the 2016 Challenge Cup final when they were beaten by Rangers at Hampden in front of a crowd of 48,000.
Nicholls said: “I was with Gretna and then I went down to a team in England (Newcastle Blue Star) in the UniBond League.
“I moved to East Stirling where Jim was the manager as it just wasn’t happening for me in England.
“I played half a season for East Stirling and we finished second bottom which was an unbelievable achievement for that club.
“He asked me to stay on as a coach. His then assistant manager Martin Clark was about to retire so Jim asked if I would become his assistant.
“Then Jim left East Stirling and was offered the Peterhead job and he asked if I would join him.
“I certainly thought about it for a day or two, particularly the travelling involved as I’m based in Glasgow.
“But once I got up and met the people at the club I saw the desire to move the club forward.
“Over the piece I think we have done exceptionally well.”
Nicholls, whose side returned to form with a 5-0 thrashing of Dumbarton on Saturday, admitted there have been ups and downs at Balmoor over the past decade but the highs have far outweighed the lows.
He said: “Winning the two championships were the highlights for me.
“You can’t beat that.
“I was fortunate enough to win a couple during my time playing football.
“Winning a couple of titles with Jim at Peterhead has been incredible.
“If you are winning leagues it proves you are a really good side.
“It is part of Peterhead’s history and no one can take that away.
“It gives Jim and myself immense pride.
“The 10 years have flown by.
“We love being here as it is a terrific football club.
“It couldn’t be done without the chairman Rodger Morrison. That man is unbelievable.
“He is an incredible character and puts so much into the club.”
Nicholls believes the success enjoyed by Peterhead during McInally’s tenure is all the more impressive given the lack of time they have been able to spend on the training pitch between games due to the squad being based across Scotland.
He added: “We only get the full squad together for an hour-and-a-half training once a week in Dundee.
“We trained in Forfar before and in Aberdeen prior to that.
“If you asked a lot of managers they would feel that wouldn’t work out but logistically it is just the way it is for us.
“To achieve what Jim has while having the players for so little time is a real testament to Jim and the professionalism shown by the players.
“On a match-day for a home game I’ll leave my house at half eight in the morning and won’t get home until nine or 10 o’ clock in the evening but I love it and that’s why we do it.”