Daniel Hoban feels ready to push Elgin City’s first choice Thomas McHale all the way for the gloves at Borough Briggs this season.
Hoban has joined the Black and Whites on a one-year contract after leaving Forfar Athletic at the end of last season, having previously spent a loan stint with Gavin Price’s men during his time with Caley Thistle.
The 23-year-old played seven games for Forfar last season, and was largely understudy to Loons goalkeeper Marc McCallum, however, he is now eager to meet the challenge of competing with Elgin’s long-standing number one McHale.
Hoban said: “I’m really excited for next season. It was the only offer that really turned my head, because I was really happy at Forfar and enjoyed my time there.
“I was working alongside Marc McCallum and the goalkeeping coach.
“It was going to take quite a lot to come away from that, but, when the opportunity came up, I thought it was probably the right time to go and really challenge to become number one.
“I will always back myself. I have probably matured a little bit over the years.
“I know it’s going to be tough, and I know what stage I’m at in my career. I’m not going to walk in and be the number one.
“I’m going to have to compete for that and it’s a challenge I’m really looking forward to.
“I’m sure we will push each other. The way I am myself, I’m just going to be constantly putting pressure on him. Likewise, that’s what I would expect if I was number one. I would want someone putting pressure on me.”
Forfar spell was ‘really productive’ despite lack of game time
Despite being on the bench for the bulk of Forfar’s league games last season, Hoban feels his spell at Station Park was a fruitful one.
He added: “I think Forfar was really productive. I got games under my belt, albeit not as many as I would have wanted.
“I had never played league football before, so there were questions marks from myself over whether I could do it. I felt acted on that and showed I can do it, so hopefully I can do it much more regularly now.
“That was the biggest reason for leaving Forfar. Although I back myself, competing against Marc MacCallum, who is very experienced and an established number one, was difficult.
“I felt like I needed to go and get that myself.”
Hoban hopes Elgin can build on the progress they made last season, after reaching the promotion play-offs before losing to Edinburgh City.
He added: “I really enjoyed my time at Elgin. There were a few boys I knew before I got there the first time.
“It’s now pretty much the same group of boys now, with a couple added in.
“By all accounts it’s still a really good dressing room. That helped with the decision as well.
“We always want to build on the season before.
“Hopefully we can go that extra step. I’m sure that will be at the forefront of everyone’s mind – we want to better last season.
“I think we’ve got a really good chance, in a very strong league. I think most teams will be pushing to get up.”