Archie Macphee is already counting down the days until the start of next season after signing permanently for Elgin City.
Macphee joined the Black and Whites on loan from Formartine United for the final stretch of last term, with the midfielder making 12 appearances for Gavin Price’s men.
After his Formartine contract expired, Price moved quickly to secure Macphee on a one-year deal.
Having not kicked a ball until March last season, Macphee was a key part of City’s side which clinched a play-off spot before being eliminated at the semi final stage against Edinburgh City on Tuesday.
The pain of that late defeat has made Macphee all the more driven to help Elgin succeed in their promotion push from League Two next season.
He said: “I can’t wait for the season to get started again. With the season ending the way it did, it just makes me more determined to get back to put things right next season.
“I think we were the better team in the two legs against Edinburgh City, but we just didn’t get the result we wanted.
“I think with the majority of players signed up for next season, it was a no-brainer for me to sign as well. Everyone is wanting the same thing.
“There’s a real togetherness within the squad and, with two third-placed finishes in the last two seasons, I think we can kick on now.
“We can maybe take a bit more belief and a wee bit more experience now, which I think will stand us in good stead for next season.
“I think we all know what we want to achieve – so hopefully we can achieve that next season.”
Macphee’s latest loan stint was his fourth spell at Borough Briggs, having had another temporary stint in the previous campaign prior to the Covid-19 pandemic.
In his last permanent spell at Elgin between 2014 and 2017, Macphee was handed the captain’s armband by Price’s predecessor Jim Weir.
After finding himself out of favour at Formartine, Macphee says Elgin’s desire to get him on board made it a straightforward decision to rejoin.
The 28-year-old added: “I’m just delighted to be back. It’s a great club. With them being so good to me, and taking me back on loan a couple of times when I was away from Formartine, I feel like giving them something back.
“I’m very settled, I’ve got a good relationship with the manager.
“I have worked with him for a few years now. We know each other inside out.
“With me being on loan there before Covid broke out the first time, and then going back on loan, it was inevitable I signed.
“They have shown they were keen to get me, so it was an easy decision.”
Macphee feels Elgin can emerge stronger from their play-off heartache, with the former Ross County player adding: “I am still trying to get over it – it was an absolute sickener.
“We’ve just got to get on with it I suppose, and just look forward to next season. We will have a couple of weeks’ rest and then we’ll be back to it.
“We just need to use the experience from this season going into next one.
“We have finished both the last two seasons strongly. We had a few big wins when we needed them. I think we’ve just got to be positive going into next season and be confident more than anything.
“We know what we can do. I think we just have to show a wee bit more consistency at times.
“If we can do that, I think we can go on to have a very good season.”