02/05/22

East Fife Reaction | The Manager and Harry Milne

Manager Paul Hartley and defender Harry Milne spoke to the media after we completed our cinch League One campaign with a 3-2 victory over East Fife at the Locality Hub Bayview Stadium.

We found ourselves 2-0 down inside the first 20 minutes, but fought back to win thanks to a double from captain Mitch Megginson and a header by defender Mark Reynolds.

The comeback ensured we ended our title winning season in style by remaining unbeaten in the 26 league games played since our previous visit to Methil way back in October, when we lost 4-2.

Paul said: “I said to the lads at half-time that we didn’t want to end on a sour note after gifting them two goals.

“We’ve always had a little problem against East Fife, so we showed great character.

“Good teams always find a way to win and we managed to that.

“It’s an incredible record (the 26 game unbeaten run) so it was great to finish things off in style.

“All credit to the lads for being so hard working throughout the season.

“That goes for the staff and everyone else at the club too, everyone has worked hard to make this a really memorable campaign.

“It’s been one of the best seasons I’ve ever been involved in in football and I’ve been in the game for 29 seasons now.

“It’s been remarkable, I’ve loved every minute.

“These sort of seasons don’t come along too often, in terms of winning things.

“We will enjoy our wee break now, recharge and return fresh and ready to go again next season.”

Paul admitted it will also be a busy summer for him as he works on strengthening the squad for the challenge of playing in the Championship.

“It’s part of the job, as a manager you can’t afford to stand still,” he said.

“You have to keep progressing, finding a way to make Cove Rangers better.

“We will improve the squad, I like it when it is a busy summer.”

Paul praised the Cove Rangers fans, many of whom turned up at the East Fife game in fancy dress, for their backing.

He said: “I want to say thanks to them for the dedication they have shown, at home and away – but especially away.

“It seems to be a lot of the same people, the same faces, so they have spent a lot of money to back us.

“We appreciate their continued support and hope to see them continuing to turn out in big numbers next season.”

Left-back Harry was playing his last game for us. He has agreed a two year, full-time, contract with Partick Thistle and will join them in the close season.

He also praised the Cove Rangers fans, who presented him with their player-of-the-year award in the fan zone at Balmoral Stadium when the squad returned home on Saturday evening.

Harry said: “I’ve really appreciated the support the fans gave me throughout my time at the club.

“Seven years is a long time in football, because it’s a short career.

“The fans have always been brilliant towards me, they were even cheering when I gave the ball away in that last game!

“I will miss them as well as everyone else at the club and I leave with a real appreciation of how much so many people have done over the years to help me develop as a player.

“I’m thinking back to the likes of Eric Watson, who was a great captain and taught me a lot about defending, as well as some of the more recent guys.

“You also have John Sheran, who gave me the opportunity to sign for Cove Rangers, when I had returned to playing boys club football after leaving Aberdeen.

“There are so many who have been a big influence on me and that has led to me getting a move to a full-time club.

“It’s not something I pushed for, I was at the end of my contract so it was an opportunity to try something different.

“My partner grew up in Edinburgh and has family in Oban, so it gives us somewhere more central to see them more often as well.

“It’s a good move for the pair of us.

“For me, as a player, it’s great because Partick Thistle are a big club as well, with aspirations to get back into the Premiership, which they could still achieve this season.

“It’s a challenge I’m looking forward to, but I will miss Cove Rangers and will always wish only the best for them.”

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