Cove Rangers have appointed Paul Hartley as manager for a second time – months after leaving the club in the summer.
The 46-year-old has been announced as the successor to Jim McIntyre, who left the Balmoral Stadium earlier this week following the team’s 6-1 defeat to Inverness Caledonian Thistle.
Hartley, who has previously managed Alloa, Dundee and Falkirk, first joined Cove in 2019. He guided the club to two promotions in three years but after leading them to the Championship he left in June 2022 to take charge at Hartlepool United.
However, the manager lasted just over three months at the League Two outfit and was sacked after the club fell to 23rd place in England’s fourth tier, having won just one of his 11 games in charge.
Hartley will now hope to turn around Cove’s season after mixed results under McIntyre left the team eighth in the Championship, ten points from the foot of the table but just nine points off the promotion play-off places.
Cove Rangers chairman Keith Moorhouse said that the club had landed the best available candidate for the vacancy.
“As a club, we know Paul and how he works, and given his availability, this decision makes sense for both parties,” Moorhouse told the club’s website. “He understands Cove Rangers and shares our ambitions and given how well he worked with the players before, I am hoping the transition will be seamless.
“I want to look to the future now, and I feel we have the right man in place to take us forward.”
Hartley said he is looking forward to the challenge.
“I definitely think there is more to be achieved here,” he said. “We put in a lot of hard work to get Cove Rangers up to the Championship, not just myself and Gordon, but a lot of other people behind the scenes, such as the chairman, who worked so hard over many years to push Cove up through the leagues.
“Now it is all about staying in the Championship. It is a big challenge; I know how difficult the division is. There are teams fighting for their lives and our task will be to remain well clear of trouble.
“I’m delighted to be back; it feels like a homecoming and now I just can’t wait to get started.”