It will be an intensely-proud moment for Montrose boss Stewart Petrie and his players as the SPFL Ladbrokes League 2 Championship flag is unfurled shortly before kick-off this afternoon.
The Gable Endies secured only the second title in their history last season and open their League 1 campaign with a mouth-watering derby against Dick Campbell’s Arbroath at Links Park.
Petrie has urged his players to fully take in the special occasion – but once the action begins to do all they can to kick-off the new campaign with a win.
The manager, who will be without the injured Michael Bolochoweckyj and Martyn Fotheringham for the game, said: “We had a bit of breathing space after the Forfar Betfred Cup tie last week and the weekend off will have done the lads a power of good.
“We didn’t look ourselves against Forfar which is isn’t like Montrose but the four games in 11 days took its toll.
“The lads have trained very well this week and we are desperate to get the real ball out now, as Dick might say.
“We are firmly focused on getting three points but there will rightly be a lot to celebrate and I have told the boys they should be proud to be part of it.
“It doesn’t come round often and they should savour it.
“However, once that whistle blows, we know we are in for a very tough game.
“Dick has put together a strong squad and I fully expect them to be up there challenging this season.
“So we will have to be at our best if we are to get off to a winning start in League 1.”
Petrie has bolstered his squad this week with the addition of two 18-year-olds – Aberdeen attacking midfielder Chris Antoniazzi and Hearts striker Euan Henderson.
He added: “I am delighted to have brought both of the players to Montrose.
“They are young, very capable and will freshen the squad up.
“Euan is slightly different to what we have up front and will add pace and power.
“Chris joined us for training on Thursday night and you could tell right away the quality he possesses.
“He is a super footballer and technically very good.”
Antoniazzi is someone Arbroath boss Dick Campbell will know a bit about as the midfielder was in the Aberdeen side that played the Red Lichties in a friendly at Gayfield last Sunday.
The young Dons side ran out 3-0 winners, a scoreline the Gayfield gaffer felt was harsh on his own team.
However, he is sure his players will bounce back and prove to be party poopers this afternoon.
Campbell said: “I never thought the Aberdeen game was a 3-0. The scoreline did not do us justice and overall the game was much tighter than that.
“However, we got what we wanted out of the match. Everyone in the squad played a part with the likes of Kane Hester and Danny Denholm getting 90 minutes under their belts which was important.
“But the real stuff begins on Saturday with a massive game for both sides.
“Montrose were worthy League 2 champions last season and we will respectfully clap them onto the park before the flag is unfurled.
“After that though, we will be going all out to spoil their big day.
“It is a local derby and to be honest I didn’t realise just how big the rivalry was until I became Arbroath manager.
“I certainly do now and we will take a big support through for the game – bring it on!”
Arbroath full-back Jason Thomson is best man at his brother’s wedding so he will miss the game along with the injured Steven Doris.