Paul Hartley insists he will be inspired by his success at Alloa after admitting he hopes to lead Cove Rangers to the Championship.

The 42-year-old is back in the dugout with the SPFL newcomers after being axed by Falkirk last August, just three games into a Championship campaign that ended with the Bairns being relegated to League One.

The former Scotland midfielder has replaced John Sheran – the dad of Hartley’s partner Lisa – and Graeme Mathieson after the pair had guided the Wee Rangers to the Highland League title and success in the pyramid play-off final against Berwick Rangers.

Hartley achieved successive promotions with the Wasps in his first dugout post before leaving for Dundee and admits he is aiming high with the Aberdeen-based club.

Hartley, who takes on the job on a full-time basis and is joined by assistant manager Gordon Young and fitness coach Tam Ritchie, said: “I think it's a great opportunity for me. It's been a long 10 months out of the game.

"I see this as a good project, working with a good chairman [Keith Moorhouse], good players, good backroom team.

“The club's ambitious, I'm ambitious, and can't wait to get started.

“We managed to make significant progress at Alloa within a couple of years and I would hope to do something similar with Cove.

“But we must be careful not to get too carried away with ourselves because we know how difficult football can be.

“I also know from my own experiences that League Two is going to be tough, there’s a lot of well established teams in there.

“But everyone at the club is eager to see how we match up.”

Hartley, who helped out Cove in a coaching and scouting capacity ahead of last season’s play-offs, is also looking forward to working with Sheran, who has become the club’s director of football.

Sheran suffered a heart-attack in April just before the semi-final clash with Lowland League champions East Kilbride.

Hartley added: “I'll still work with John. I'm very close with him and someone I know very well.

“We've got a fantastic relationship and long may it continue. We're all here for the same thing, to make Cove successful.

“John had to do the right thing in terms of his family and his health.

“But it’s great for us that he’s chosen to go upstairs because he’s someone we can talk to and get advice from.

“John knows the club inside out, he knows the players and has worked with the chairman for a long time.”