Kerr Waddell believes Montrose would struggle to hang onto Stewart Petrie as manager if the Angus club was based in the Central Belt.
Petrie has transformed the Links Park side’s fortunes since taking over when they languished second bottom of League Two in 2016.
The Angus side won the League Two title in 2018 and have finished fourth in each of the last three seasons in League One – narrowly exiting the Championship play-offs after an extra-time defeat to Morton on Tuesday.
However, while Petrie is highly thought of at Montrose, defender Waddell believes big club suitors aren’t sitting up and taking notice because he’s working in the North East.
“I think he manages in the wrong side of the country. If he was down in Glasgow he’d probably be picked up by another club but we’ll keep him.”
“Our manager does an incredible job,” said Waddell. “I read in the paper someone was wondering why he hasn’t been snatched up.
“That’s good for us. We’ll keep him here as long as we can and hopefully next year we’ll go again and get promoted.
“I think he manages in the wrong side of the country. If he was down in Glasgow he’d probably be picked up by another club but we’ll keep him.
“He’s never too up and never too down. It rubs off on the players as well.
“The boys are absolutely devastated after losing but he’ll pick us up and we’ll go again.”
Montrose looked to be heading for a penalty shoot-out with Morton with the semi-final tie finely poised at 3-3 on aggregate.
But Morton sub Craig McGuffie stepped up with a stunning 118th minute winner to send Montrose home devastated.
However, as the Gable Endies players dejectedly trooped off the Cappielow turf, Petrie put their loss into perspective as he reminded his squad how lucky they are to have survived the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We’re hurting in there and he boys are dejected,” said Petrie. “But, as I said to the players, that’s football.
“The big thing is we have come through Covid so far and all our families have come through it safely so far.
“That’s a big thing this year. It has been a privilege to get back playing when other people can’t get out and have been stuck in their house.
“We feel lucky in that sense and we were probably fortunate to get into the top five on the last day and to sneak into the top four on the last day too.
“There’s certainly been a bit of luck along the way and we probably just ran out of it tonight.
‘To a man they were outstanding.’
“I’m immensely proud of every single one of them.
“In the previous play-off games against Peterhead and Queen of the South we didn’t do ourselves justice but tonight they did. To a man they were outstanding.”
Petrie is ready to launch another promotion bid next season as they aim to emulate the success of Angus rivals Arbroath.
Arbroath have confirmed their status as Scottish football’s ‘best part-time team’ after clinching Championship football for the third successive year.
And Waddell, who lives in Arbroath, is determined to match the achievements of his hometown team after penning a new two-year deal at Links Park.
“Arbroath have done fantastically well. It’s brilliant to see them staying up in the Championship for another year,” said former Dundee youngster Waddell.
Montrose are determined to emulate Arbroath’s recent success“Our manager always says they are the team we want to catch as the best part-time team in the country by a mile.
“That’s the incentive. We need to try and get up there and you never know, we could be doing what Arbroath are doing.”
Meanwhile, the Gable Endies have confirmed the signing of double league winning Arbroath skipper Mark Whatley – as revealed on Tuesday by Courier Sport – on a two-year deal.
Petrie said: “This is a great signing for us. Mark is exactly the type of player we want in the dressing room.
“The success he achieved with Arbroath was incredible and I know he can now play a huge part in helping us bring further success to Links Park.”