Seb Ross wants to start repaying the faith Cove Rangers showed in him when they offered him a route back into football.
After his release by hometown club Aberdeen in the summer, Ross was able to remain in the north-east by penning a three-year contract at League One newboys Cove.
However, a hamstring strain affected his pre-season preparations and saw him miss the Betfred Cup games against Hibernian and Brora Rangers.
He returned for the start of the league season and has come off the bench twice, in the wins over East Fife and Peterhead.
Ross’ next target is breaking into the starting line-up and to start showing why he merited a substantial deal from Cove.
He said: “The manager and chairman offered me a three-year deal and showed me faith. I think it’s time to repay that with good performances, goals, assists and getting the club to where it can go. Which I’m sure is really high.
“All I’m wanting is game-time. I knew it would be tough coming into this team as it’s really competitive – the midfield is probably the most competitive for starting places.
“It’s been absolutely first-class, since I first came in the door. I’ve enjoyed every minute. The manager, boys and staff have been great with me from the start.
“I had a bit of bother my hamstring, which was over in about two or three weeks. Thankfully that’s gone and it’s just a blip to the start of the season. I’m fully-fit now and raring to go.”
He also committed to himself that he would try maintain a full-time level of training, despite dropping down two divisions.
“The training we’re doing is really high-intensity and the players are very good. I said when I signed I would try keep myself a full-time player, by doing stuff by myself on the days we don’t have training.
“It’s just that full-time mentality that we’ve got (at Cove), even though we’re part-time. Everything we do is done to a high standard.
“It’s close to home and it’s a team with really high ambitions. It’s a win-win situation for me, because I just need to get myself in this team and help get them where they need to be.”
Cove have started the season with back-to-back league wins and welcome Partick Thistle to the Balmoral Stadium on Saturday.
It is the first time they will have faced full-time opposition in league football, since stepping up to the SPFL in 2019.
Ross added: “They had a slow start but showed last week against Airdrieonians, they’re capable of getting wins. Them and Falkirk will be tough, as full-time teams, but there’s no better way to test yourself than against a team that was in the Championship last season.
“We’ve had a good start but we can’t sit back on that. We can’t ourselves at the top of the league and be happy; we want to be there at the end of April, still fighting. It’s a long journey but one we’re capable of making.