Matty Kennedy hopes 2021 can bring success for club and country.
The former St Johnstone winger has endured a stop-start 2020 with the Scottish football shutdown bring last season to a premature end just as he was hitting his stride with Aberdeen.
But 2020 ended on a positive note for Kennedy after he put his ankle injury behind him and made his international debut with Northern Ireland.
With a Scottish Cup campaign to look forward to as well as a World Cup qualifiers for his country, Kennedy hopes to put a difficult year behind him and start the new year on a positive note when Dundee United visit Pittodrie today.
He said: “It has been difficult as the team was doing well in the league and in the Scottish Cup semi-final before the first lockdown.
“That was just a few weeks after I joined, so it was a bad time for me and the club that the season ended at that point.
“Coming back from injury during lockdown, then the Covid situation, wasn’t great, but I feel good now.
“I feel I’m playing well in most games now and the team are picking up results so everything is positive.
“I also got my first cap, which shows if you are playing well the manager isn’t scared to throw you in to the side, and I enjoyed every minute of it.
“Hopefully there’s more to come as the first game in our World Cup group is away to Italy in March.
“If I’m playing well for the club, the manager might pick me for that match and it would be a dream to play against some of the top players in the world.
“I would be buzzing and there’s a lot to play for at Aberdeen in the league and Scottish Cup, but we just have to take it as it comes starting with a win against United.”
In a break from recent tradition, there will be no winter break for players this month, but Kennedy, who arrived at Pittodrie after his team-mates had returned from their winter training camp in Dubai a year ago, believes the chance to maintain momentum outweighs the need for a break.
He said: “A lot of boys actually prefer it, but I’ve been down south most of the time, so I haven’t been used to it.
“It’s not made much difference to me, but if the team is doing well and picking up results you don’t really want a break.
“It is difficult as there are a lot of games, so you don’t get much time for recovery, but it’s the same for everybody.
“You just have to be professional working day-by-day to keep yourself right for every game while dealing with the Covid situation as well.
“I signed last January, but after the team went to Dubai, and it would have been better to be there to get to know everybody, but it wasn’t to be.
“But the quicker the games come the better, so it has been a good spell for us recently.
“I struggled with injuries at the start of the season, so personally it’s good to be fit and playing regularly again.
“It’s important for the team to stay up near the top of the table and all our focus is on winning the next match.”