Mark Ridgers feels goalkeeping coach Ryan Esson is a worthy recipient of a testimonial after crediting him for helping him to overcome a difficult start to his Caley Thistle career.
Esson will be rewarded for 10 years of service since joining Inverness from Hereford United in 2008, having made 187 appearances for the Highlanders.
The 38-year-old is still registered as a player but his focus is now primarily on coaching duties with the club’s goalkeepers and under-18s squad.
Ridgers has worked under Esson since joining his hometown club from Partick Thistle last summer and, after initially struggling for form, he says the former Aberdeen goalkeeper was a key influence in his revival.
Ridgers said: “I had a slow start at the club but, the longer I got to know Ryan and work with him, it settled me down.
“He helped me settle iand was a big part in how my form changed, and it continued until the tail end of last season. He’s great to work with. He’s easy to get on with and he tries to help everyone out.
“His work-rate is second to none and even now he still trains with the boys, and demands the best.”
Inverness won just one of their opening seven league matches last season but they got the new campaign off to an ideal start with last weekend’s 1-0 triumph over Falkirk.
Caley Jags play their first home match of the Championship season when they host Ayr United today, and Ridgers is eager to keep the momentum going.
He added: “Starting with a win gives everyone confidence, especially after what happened against Hearts in the Betfred Cup.
“Getting the clean sheet and the three points is a massive positive, it gives everyone confidence to keep going and keeps the momentum going from last season into this one.
“When you’re winning and you’ve got momentum on your side, it can only be a good thing.
“This year we are sometimes going to have to grind out wins. There are a lot of teams that fancy themselves to go up and if you can go and nick three points, that could be crucial at the end of the season.”