Ellon United have turned to two former players to manage and coach the club in the 2015/16 season, aiming to avoid the struggle of relegation which haunted the Meadows side for most of last season.
President Billy Gordon, who was delighted to unveil new managers Chris Alsop and Michael Cramp wthis week, is optimistic for the new campaign.
He said: “The season was all a bit of struggle, but I like to think our new managers will give us a lift for next season, and take us at least to safety in the division.
“They have met the players, and already their is a buzz in the camp. I am very optimistic about next season.”
Alsop, 31, and Cramp, 27, were no less enthusiastic about their new roles, and even more optimistic about what could be achieved in their first season in charge.
Alsop, who also had a spell with Formartine United as a player, said: “We both know something about the club, having played for them in recent years.
“It is a good set-up that has always attracted good young players. There is no doubt in my mind that we could be pushing for a place in the top half of the Superleague.”
His younger co-manager was keen to emphasise the place of the club in the community.
Cramp, whose career as a player was cut short due to a knee injury, said: “We would like to think of the club as part of the town of Ellon, while making them proud of what we achieve.
“Our early meetings with players have been very productive. There is a good attitude in the squad which we aim to build on. It is an exciting challenge for us.”
But while the two new managers were positive about the club’s prospects for next season, they are committed to a three-year plan, and will take the close season to re-build a team fit to compete with the best over the next three seasons.
“We aim to make a difference,” they said in statement of intent.
Gordon, for his part, was keen give the two their heads after the trauma of last season.
He explained: “We battled clear of relegation, but under our new management team we intend to go places next season.
“We have just had a successful annual dinner which served as a good bonding exercise for the players. Let’s hope it transmits to the park.”
Last season, United ended up just one place above the relegation slots.
He said: “Our problem was one of consistency, for when we were on song we were a match for any club.
“Under Chris and Michael we will be aiming for much, much more.”