Tom Grivosti is determined to help Elgin City reboot their League Two season as he relaunches his career after serious injury setbacks.
The young on-loan Ross County defender has endured a galling couple of years in and out of recovery, initially coming off badly in a challenge with Alfredo Morelos against Rangers in Dingwall in October 2019.
The Liverpudlian managed seven appearances and two goals for County last season after recovering from the toe injury before succumbing to a setback in his rehabilitation with a hamstring problem.
The absences amount to a big chunk out of his promising career, but Grivosti is fired up to help City, and himself, with a positive loan spell at Borough Briggs.
He has been eased back into action by manager Gavin Price with a 60-minute appearance in the draw at Kelty last week and a longer 80-minute outing in 2-0 defeat at home to Annan Athletic.
After his home debut on Saturday ended in disappointment, the 22-year-old former Bolton Wanderers youth said: “It is a hard league. You saw last week when we went to Kelty and got a draw, and we have ended up losing here today at home.
“The pitches are hard and there’s a lot of astroturf in the league, but hopefully we can start next week to get some points on the board and start climbing the table.
“I’m here to help them do that – that’s the plan anyway.
“The lads have had a good last two seasons, they got to the play-offs and that’s what I want to achieve. I’m only here until Christmas, but I want to help them get as high up the league as possible.
“All I can do is make sure I’m match fit and available when I go back to County and, then, it’s obviously up to the manager if he wants to play me or not.
“It has been a decent enough start for me with the draw last week and the lads have been brilliant with me in training – very welcoming.
“I already knew Russell and Tony, the Dingwall brothers, from County and a few of the other lads, too, so it’s been a good first couple of weeks.”
There was a surprise appearance of Elgin’s top scorer Kane Hester on the substitute’s bench for the Annan clash
The striker was Initially diagnosed with a medial strain of his hamstring which was expected to take at least three weeks to heal.
Hester turned up at the ground declaring himself fit to play with the injury appearing to be a trapped nerve rather than a hamstring pull.
With Elgin losing 1-0 at the break, Price put Hester on, but the gamble backfired and he was subbed 10 minutes from the end.
Price also introduced former St Johnstone and Brechin forward Olly Hamilton as a trialist substitute, with the attacker having scored five goals for City’s under-20s in midweek.
The Elgin manager dropped keeper Tom McHale for deputy Daniel Hoban. who took a red card late on in the defeat.
A soft free-kick conceded early on saw Annan’s Owen Moxon curl a fine 25-yard effort beyond Hoban for the opener.
Russell Dingwall had a shot deflected wide, but Annan started the better team and were unlucky not to double the advantage when Chris Johnston’s shot was blocked on the line by defender Darryl McHardy on 20 minutes.
Hoban saved well from Aidan Smith as the score remained at 1-0 at the break.
Hester’s introduction gave Elgin hope after the break and he raced through on to a Rory MacEwan pass, only for keeper Greg Fleming to quickly narrow the angle and block.
Hester was clearly still nursing injury and Annan soaked up the pressure, sealing victory on 85 minutes.
From another Moxon free kick, a Steven Swionglehurst downward header found Matt Douglas, who touched the ball into the net at close range.
Hoban had a rush of blood in stoppage time, running out and fouling Aidan Smith to earn a red card.
Captain and defender Euan Spark took over the gloves and made a decent stop from Smith’s free kick before the final whistle.