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Cove Rangers F.C.

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Cove Rangers
Full nameCove Rangers Football Club
Nickname(s)The Toonsers
Founded1922; 102 years ago (1922)
GroundBalmoral Stadium, Altens, Aberdeen
Capacity3,023 (2,012 seated)
ChairmanKeith Moorhouse
ManagerPaul Hartley
LeagueScottish League One
2023–24Scottish League One, 5th of 10
WebsiteClub website

Cove Rangers Football Club is a senior Scottish football club currently playing in Scottish League One. They are based in the Altens area of Aberdeen and play their football at Balmoral Stadium, having left their former home at Allan Park, Cove Bay in April 2015.


Cove were formed in 1922 and played in the local amateur leagues until 1985, when they became a junior team. However, the club applied and were accepted to the senior Highland Football League in 1986, where they played until winning promotion to Scottish Football League division 2 in May 2019, after beating Berwick Rangers 7–0 on aggregate in the pyramid playoff. They have also racked up a formidable reputation in the lower rounds of the Scottish Cup, reaching the 3rd round three times. In 2001 they won their first Highland League championship – but even more impressively won the 'treble' of Highland League, Aberdeenshire Shield and Scottish Qualifying Cup.

In the 2007–08 season, Cove reached round four of the Scottish Cup for the first time, beating Brora Rangers away 5–0, Keith 3–0 and Edinburgh University 1–0 on the way, before losing 4–2 to Ross County.

However, the south Aberdeen side claimed their second ever Highland League Championship with a 3–0 home win against Lossiemouth on 3 May 2008.

Cove Rangers were one of the clubs who prepared an application for entry into the Scottish Football League following Gretna relinquishing their league status on 3 June 2008. The other clubs were Annan Athletic, Preston Athletic and Spartans.[1] Annan Athletic were eventually awarded the place, due to their superior facilities.

One of the club's most famous players is the young Scottish midfielder Paul Coutts who joined English League One club Peterborough United during the summer of 2008 for a nominal fee. Coutts won the club's Young Player of the Year award for the 2008–09 season[2] and won eight caps for the Scotland under-21 squad, after being touted for a call up by his former manager Darren Ferguson.[3]

In 2016 the club regained their Highland League crown. Due to the introduction of the 'pyramid system' in Scottish football, Cove elected to say goodbye to their Allan Park home due to the stadium not meeting SPFL minimum stadia requirements. This in turn meant the club played all of their games at an away ground with Inverurie Locos, Formartine United and Banks O'Dee offering the use of their facilities so the club could compete. Cove went on to win the league and advance to the first play-off game against the winner of the Lowland League, Edinburgh City. The tie was won by City 4–1 on aggregate who subsequently progressed to Scottish League Two after beating East Stirlingshire in the second playoff tie.

Back to back promotions and rise to League One[edit]

In the 2018–19 season they were promoted to SPFL League Two for the first time in their history after defeating Berwick Rangers 7–0 on aggregate in the League Two play-off.[4]

In their first season in the SPFL, they won League Two after the season was terminated early due to the Coronavirus pandemic.[5] This resulted in back-to-back promotions for Cove, with the club gaining promotion to SPFL League One for the first time.[6]

Promotion to the Championship[edit]

In their first League One campaign, Cove narrowly lost out on promotion by 4 points to eventual winners Partick Thistle, finishing 3rd in the League and losing 4–3 on aggregate to Airdrieonians in the Play-offs.

In the 2021–22 season, Cove won the League One title by 7 points, only losing 3 league games all season, securing promotion to the Scottish Championship for the first time in their history.

The 2022–23 Championship season saw Cove go into their final match against Greenock Morton one point ahead of Hamilton Academical at the bottom, however a 1–2 defeat at a foggy Balmoral Stadium coupled with a goalless draw for Hamilton at Arbroath meant that both Cove and Hamilton finished level on points but Cove were relegated to League One after just one season due to an inferior goal difference.


From 1948 to 2015, Cove played at Allan Park, which was located in Cove. The ground had a capacity of 2300 spectators, with 200 on seats or benches. Its largest attendance was 2,100, in the league playoff in 2008–09 vs Deveronvale which they won 3–1 to lift the league title for the third year running. Allan Park was named after a local farmer, who sold the club the land on which they built the ground in 1948.[7]

On Friday, 30 July 2010, an article was placed in the local Aberdeen paper, the Evening Express that Stewart Milne, the chairman of Aberdeen F.C., had bought Allan Park.[7][8] This scheme was thrown into doubt, however, when Aberdeen City Council rejected an application by the two clubs to build a new ground for Cove Rangers that Aberdeen would also have used as a training ground.[9][10] Nevertheless, on 18 April 2015, Cove Rangers played their final game at Allan Park following progress being made with Aberdeen City Council in terms of planning permission. In this game Cove marked their departure with a 4–0 victory over Fort William. Allan Park had been bought by housing developers for a figure believed to be around the £3m mark. The sale also included a social club, also owned by the football club, which closed its doors the following day.

Cove then began construction of their revised new stadium. The new facility, known as 'Balmoral Stadium' is located in Altens, next to a new secondary school, with the merging of Kincorth and Torry Academies into one larger school. In a clause made by Aberdeen City Council, this new school will have access to the new stadium's artificial pitch.

In July 2018, Cove moved into the Balmoral Stadium, having played home games at Inverurie Loco Works' ground in the intervening period. The first match at the Balmoral Stadium took place on 16 July 2018, but had to be abandoned after a Cove player was seriously injured.[11]


Current squad[edit]

As of 10 July 2024[12]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
1 GK Australia AUS Nicholas Suman
3 DF Scotland SCO Michael Doyle
4 MF Scotland SCO Connor Scully
6 DF England ENG Will Gillingham
8 MF Scotland SCO Blair Yule
9 FW Scotland SCO Mitch Megginson (captain)
10 MF Scotland SCO Declan Glass
12 DF Poland POL Milosz Ochmanski
14 DF England ENG Luke Strachan
15 DF Scotland SCO Arron Darge
No. Pos. Nation Player
17 DF Scotland SCO Josh Kerr
20 FW Scotland SCO Myles Gaffney
21 GK Hungary HUN Balint Demus
22 MF Scotland SCO Mark Gallagher
23 GK Scotland SCO Jack Robertson
24 MF Scotland SCO Fraser Fyvie
25 MF Scotland SCO Mikey Milnes
DF Wales WAL Ryan Harrington
MF Scotland SCO Cole Donaldson

Club officials[edit]

As of 1 July 2024[13]

Technical staff[edit]

  • Football manager: Paul Hartley
  • Coach: Gary Hake
  • Goalkeeping coach: Derek Soutar
  • Performance analyst: Rhys Sutcliffe
  • Kit manager: Ian Sellar
  • Physiotherapist: Charlotte Clark


  • Honorary president: Alan McRae
  • Chairman: Keith Moorhouse
  • Vice-chairman/finance director: Graeme Reid
  • Director: Darren Anderson
  • Director: Grant Moorhouse
  • Commercial manager: Angela Bruce
  • Head of media & communications: Richard Gordon
  • Director of football: John Sheran

The club's honorary president Alan McRae served as SFA president from 2015 to 2019.[14]


  1. ^ Gretna relinquish league status Archived 25 September 2008 at the Wayback Machine, BBC Sports. Retrieved on 3 June 2008
  2. ^ Coutts wins Player of the Moth Archived 6 November 2008 at the Wayback Machine, Peterborough United FC. Retrieved on 3 November 2008
  3. ^ "Posh boss receives a pep talk from Sir Alex, Peterborough Evening Telegraph. Retrieved on 3 November 2008". Peterboroughtoday.co.uk. Archived from the original on 11 October 2008. Retrieved 22 April 2009.
  4. ^ Edwards, Dave (25 May 2019). "Cove Rangers winning on and off the pitch at Highland League awards". Press and Journal. Archived from the original on 3 March 2021. Retrieved 2 November 2020.
  5. ^ "SPFL resolution approved by club in all four divisions". SPFL. 15 April 2020. Archived from the original on 8 January 2021. Retrieved 15 April 2020.
  6. ^ Durent, Jamie (16 November 2016). "How Cove Rangers went from SPFL new boys to League 2 champions". Evening Express. Archived from the original on 19 April 2020. Retrieved 2 November 2020.
  7. ^ a b Crighton, Ryan (30 July 2010). "Cove Rangers and Dons strike deal". Press and Journal. Aberdeen Journals. Archived from the original on 12 June 2012. Retrieved 5 November 2011.
  8. ^ Gilfeather, Frank (22 September 2011). "Aberdeen ignominy now par for the course". The Herald. Retrieved 5 November 2011. From the money that Cove received they could finally build their proposed project in the Calder Park area. The proposed new stadium would maximise their chances of getting into the League Two after getting rejected on 3 June 2008 because they didn't have a compliant stadium. By September 2011, Cove Rangers were planning to share in part of the New Aberdeen Stadium project with Aberdeen F.C.
  9. ^ "New Aberdeen FC stadium sites 'offered by landowners'". BBC News. BBC. 28 August 2012. Archived from the original on 31 August 2012. Retrieved 29 August 2012.
  10. ^ "New Aberdeen FC park 'killed off', says Stewart Milne". BBC News. BBC. 23 August 2012. Archived from the original on 23 August 2012. Retrieved 29 August 2012.
  11. ^ Jaffray, Chris (16 July 2018). "First ever match at new Balmoral Stadium abandoned after Cove player suffers serious injury". pressandjournal.co.uk. Archived from the original on 9 September 2018. Retrieved 29 April 2019.
  12. ^ "Squad". Cove Rangers. Archived from the original on 26 September 2020. Retrieved 1 July 2020.
  13. ^ "Team". Cove Rangers FC. Retrieved 1 June 2023.
  14. ^ "Record Turnover announced at Scottish FA AGM". www.scottishfa.co.uk. Scottish Football Association. 9 June 2015. Archived from the original on 27 June 2015. Retrieved 9 June 2015.

External links[edit]