Peterhead and Cove Rangers said farewell to Simon Ferry and Harry Milne this weekend, two players who have strong connections to their respective clubs.
After seven years with the Blue Toon, Simon Ferry will bid farewell to the club as he looks to take the next step in his career.
Then at Cove Rangers, the irrepressible Harry Milne will get his chance at full-time football by moving to Partick Thistle.
Milne has had an outstanding season. Six goals and seven assists from left wing-back is a great return but he is crucial to the way Paul Hartley’s side operates. He almost plays as a winger in Cove’s three-at-the-back system and his attacking returns have been a valuable outlet for the League One champions.
Ferry has had an injury-hit campaign but there is no questioning the impact he has had at Peterhead since arriving in 2015.
He has been one of Jim McInally’s most-trusted lieutenants, organising matters on the park from the base of midfield but also making great strides as a coach during the week.
Ferry is not a native north-easter, which says even more about his commitment to continually travel up the road week after week for the Peterhead cause.
Given how volatile lower-league football can be, with squad overhauls common season after season, for both Milne and Ferry to be established players in their sides is huge.
Milne has been a consistent performer all season but it was perhaps the Scottish Cup tie with Hibernian where he caught the eye of a wider audience. He was tireless, rampaging up and down the left flank as the part-timers pushed Hibs deep into extra-time.
Few could begrudge him the chance to play full-time football. He is one of the few players in the Cove squad to have never played full-time. Had it not been for the pandemic, then Cove may have been able to offer him full-time football themselves next season but it is an opportunity Milne has to grasp.
It was fitting that he was able to go out as a league winner and should Partick not win promotion from the play-offs, he will be back at the Balmoral Stadium next season as a visiting player.
Ferry is at a different stage of his career, having already been a full-time player with Celtic, Swindon, Portsmouth and Dundee prior to joining Peterhead.
Coaching may well be in his future and the 34-year-old has already built up a significant media profile through his work with podcast Open Goal.
While his influence on the field may have been reduced this season, due to Achilles and back injuries, his presence around the team and Balmoor will be sorely missed.
Ferry has been assisting McInally and his assistant Davie Nicholls by taking training sessions during the week and when not playing, he has been a vocal figure on the sidelines for the Blue Toon.
It will be a huge task for both clubs to fill the voids left by such significant characters. You could make an argument that for the roles they have played, they are irreplaceable.
But at least supporters have had their chance to say goodbye to two players who have given their all for Peterhead and Cove.