Sean McCarthy hopes Rothes can make the most of a shortened Highland League season after he joined from Wick Academy.
The season has been put on hold until Covid-19 restrictions can be eased, with the league insisting it will not start until supporters are allowed into grounds.
McCarthy joined the Speysiders this year on a one-year deal after leaving Wick, where he had been since his departure from Ross County in 2014.
Rothes impressed many last season to secure a top-four position when the league was halted in March.
Their resurgence under Ross Jack saw them lose just four times in 23 games and have one of the best defensive records in the league.
Uncertainty over the new season has only been added to by the league’s management committee opting to pause its start, which had been slated for October 17.
McCarthy said: “It’s a sprint this year, not the marathon it was before.
“If you get a good run of games you can end up half-way through the season right up there. But it’s the same if it ends up going the other way.
“It’s interesting to see how it plays out. The league have had to work around all the Covid-19 rules and I think they’ve done well.
“It’s been a long time without it and I think everyone feels the same, with watching it on telly. You just want to get back to it.”
McCarthy, who called time on his six-year stint with the Scorries this summer in search of a fresh challenge, felt things had gone a little stale for him at Harmsworth Park.
Jack had been in touch with him after his departure but the uncertainty over the start of the season had put a hold on any potential move. When the league was able to finalise a 16-game season, talks restarted and McCarthy signed on for the season.
He added: “I had been there for a few years and it had maybe gone a bit stale up there for me.
“Normally if you’ve been there a good amount of time, you want a change just to try somewhere else and challenge yourself.
“The travel (to Wick) wasn’t too much of a problem. They weren’t expecting me to go up for training all the time. I just needed a new challenge.
“I was 21 when I was released by Ross County and Gordon Connolly took me in at Wick.
“I enjoyed my time at Wick and it was a good platform to play regularly.
“It helped me to get where I am as an established Highland League goalkeeper, so I’m really grateful to them.”
l The Highland League Cup semi-finals have been confirmed, subject to final approval from the SFA, for next weekend.
Formartine face Rothes in a 3pm kick-off on Saturday October 17 with Brora Rangers facing Buckie Thistle at 3pm on Sunday October 18.
The final, at a venue to be confirmed, will be heled on Saturday October 24 (3pm).
All three matches will be streamed live with details announced in due course.