Andrew Steeves believes sustained success under Montrose manager Stewart Petrie goes together like love and marriage.
Montrose won the League Two title in 2018 and have claimed three successive fourth-placed finishes in League One since Petrie took over five years ago.
He has moulded together a settled squad with several players on the brink of testimonials in the coming years.
Midfielder Terry Masson will have his benefit game this season as he enters into his 11th season at Montrose and he is closely followed by Paul Watson and Graham Webster.
And with Steeves ready to start season number seven at the Angus side, the former St Johnstone youngster believes the Montrose squad can renew their vows at his wedding next summer.
“Having a settled club is part of the success, part of the culture,” said Steeves. “It’s one thing we always think goes in our favour.
“At other clubs across the league there is often a big turnover with 12 out and ten in or whatever it may be.
“Even a newly-promoted club like Queen’s Park has made big changes. They have a new manager, new backroom team and a lot of new players.
“Other teams will have signed well but we know each other so well we can just crack on with our business.
“We’re only ever two in and two out with a couple of loan signings here and there.
Montrose only sign ‘added value’ players
“The manager makes a big effort not to bring in players that will chase money around the league.
“He wants players who will add to the culture, add to our standard of training and add to our match day experience.
“They need to be the right players for the team. If they aren’t available then he won’t bring anyone in because he knows we have had a settled squad for seven or eight years now.
“It’s not just the players that are close, the families are too.
“Over the next year we have a couple of weddings – including mine – that everyone is invited to.
“I should have been married last year on June 7th at Balbirnie House Hotel in Fife but it’s been postponed to June 13th next year.
“The plan is for everyone to be there but if anyone annoys me this year they won’t be coming!
“Terry Masson got married a while ago, pre-Covid, and everyone was there with their partners.
“That helps to bring that sense of belonging. No-one really wants to leave.
“Some players have had an opportunity to go full-time and have done well but the players who want to be here will be here.
“They know what they are coming into. It’s a great culture, great family club. Even the directors all buy into that. It’s a tremendous place to be.”
Steeves backs manager’s ‘Montrose project’
Petrie has also shown loyalty to Montrose in recent years in the face of speculation over his future.
The former Dunfermline star was heavily linked with the manager’s job at East End Park in the summer.
He was also second favourite to take over from Micky Mellon at Dundee United.
“The manager is very open and honest about things,” said defender Steeves.
“He tells us that what we’ve got here is something special.
“We aren’t punching above our weight, this is a project that will take time. It could take a number of years.
“We’re only just getting started.
“The manager came in on 2016 and this is just the start. We are hoping this lasts for another six, seven years.
“We are really excited to be on the journey with him.”