Joel Macbeath lives on the doorstep of Borough Briggs. He wants to be the man that finally fires Elgin City to promotion.
After his release by Ross County earlier this summer, Macbeath signed for his home-town club on a two-year deal.
It was a homecoming for the 19-year-old, who used to watch their games when he was not training or playing at County.
Elgin have been a League Two club ever since they entered the Scottish leagues in 2000. The highest they finished was second in 2016 but they were beaten in the end-of-season promotion play-offs.
When the season finished early in March, Elgin were third in League Two and would have had another shot at the play-offs had the pandemic not hit.
Macbeath now hopes the new season can bring a fresh charge to end their long wait for promotion.
He said: “I think we are due it, to get into League One. Elgin have been so close a few times and hopefully this season is the one.
“I wouldn’t say the family are all Elgin fans, with not always being able to attend games, but we definitely hold them close to our hearts and would love to see them get promoted.
“They were doing well last season and the only objective has to be promotion. It would be massive for the town and for the people involved. It would be a huge step.”
Replacing the goals of Shane Sutherland is going to be key for Elgin, with the prolific striker taking the chance to return to full-time football with former club Caley Thistle.
Macbeath, who had a loan spell with League One side Montrose last season, hopes he can help fill the void.
He added: “It will be a tough challenge to fill his boots, when you see what he’s done over the years.
“He’s been a crucial part of Elgin but I will try my best to repay them with goals, assists and work-rate.”
The forward had been with County for 12 years prior to his release in the summer. He featured in the Challenge Cup for County’s colts team last season but did not make a senior appearance.
He does however he benefitted greatly from going to Montrose during the last campaign, rather than continuing to play reserve football.
Macbeath said: “Going to Montrose was hugely beneficial for me and being in the first-team changing room, all the boys were great.
“I joined when they were bottom and we went on a really good run, which always helps. it’s a lot more physical but it helped me in being more sensible in game situations.
“It was a shock leaving County because I wasn’t 100 per cent sure. When Covid-19 hit, no-one had a clue. I had a great 12 years there, made some great memories and met some great people along the way. But I’m excited for a new challenge.”