Mark Whatley is delighted to see Stewart Petrie is still the Montrose manager – after working with him for less than 24 HOURS at Arbroath.
Petrie was linked with moves to Dunfermline and Dundee United after leading Montrose to the League Two title and three consecutive top four finishes in League One.
However, he is staying with the club and will welcome Angus rivals Arbroath to Links Park for Saturday’s pre-season friendly.
That match will see Whatley make his Montrose debut after seven years at Arbroath.
Whatley quit the Red Lichties in the summer as the most successful captain in their 143-year history, with two title medals.
And the midfielder can’t wait to star for Petrie after their working relationship lasted less than a day at Arbroath.
“I’m delighted to see that the manager is still here,” said Whatley. “I was unsure what would happen because he has done so well at Montrose.
“So many people have contributed to the success of Montrose over the last few years but he’s the leader. He’s so highly regarded.
“At least I’m getting the chance to work with him this time. He was assistant manager to Paul Sheerin when Arbroath signed me.
“The very next day he called me to tell me he was leaving. Paul had been given the opportunity to go and work with Aberdeen and, as he was part of the team, he left too!”
Whatley’s first Angus derby as a Montrose player
During his time at Arbroath, Whatley played against Montrose 16 times.
He admits it will be ‘a little bit strange’ to be wearing the colours of Montrose for the first time in an Angus derby.
He admits it will be odd to be wearing Gable Endies colours for the first time in an Angus derby.
GABLE ENDIES SIGN DOUBLE LEAGUE WINNING LICHTIES CAPTAIN
Montrose FC have moved quickly to sign Mark Whatley on a two year deal, bringing the former Arbroath FC captain to Links Park until the summer of 2023. pic.twitter.com/t8v9Dgixwr
— Montrose FC (@MontroseFC) May 12, 2021
“It will be a little bit strange playing against Arbroath after all these years,” said Whatley.
“I was at Arbroath for so long and have a lot of very good friends at the club.
“It’ll be good to see them again but as soon as we get on the park, I’ll be up for it.
“It’s a friendly so it doesn’t quite have the same edge but a derby is a derby and it will be great to play in front of some fans again.
Whatley’s big ambitions for Montrose
“We’ve got a big season ahead and want to try and make a challenge.
“League One is very, very competitive.
“Queen’s Park are full-time and very ambitious, Alloa always make it tough. Then there’s Cove, Falkirk and Airdrieonians who were in the play-offs.
“I’ve just named half the league. That’s how tight it is going to be but we have a very settled and talented squad at Montrose and have our own ambitions.”