Caley Thistle goalkeeper Mark Ridgers knows how much it would mean to the city of Inverness if he could help guide his hometown club back to the Premiership.
Inverness are in the midst of their quarter-century anniversary celebrations, with a series of tributes lined up for today’s Championship visit of Arbroath.
The Red Lichties’ visit is fitting given they provided the opposition for Caley Thistle’s first league fixture in 1994, which will be 25 years to the day on Tuesday.
Today also marks a year since former skipper Alan Hercher, who netted a hat-trick in the 5-2 victory that day, died at the age of 52.
Having grown up in Inverness, Ridgers is determined to help lead the Highlanders back to the top-flight, where they have spent a total of 13 years of their existence prior to being relegated in 2017.
Ridgers said: “It’s quite a nice tribute all round. Hopefully we can a result to match a momentous day for the club. For what the club has achieved in 25 years, it has been incredible.
“From the merger the club rose straight up through the leagues, and did well when they were in the top league. Winning the Scottish Cup was massive.
“For the city, there was a buzz when the club was in the top league. As players now, we have to try and get back there. We will give it a good go this season.
“The city knows what the club can be. We need to try and get back to the top league, and that is the aim. But it’s nice to have the ex-players back.
“It shows the memories the club has created. It will be good for a few of the boys who don’t really know about the history of the club to see what it means to the people – and what can be achieved.”
Inverness fell to an opening day 4-1 defeat against Dundee United at Tannadice last weekend, however Ridgers is determined to get back on track with a first league triumph of the campaign against Dick Campbell’s men today.
The 29-year-old added: “Last year our home form wasn’t really good enough for pushing County all the way.
“We can put Saturday to bed now. It was disappointing but it didn’t lose us the league.
“The result doesn’t show what we are all about.
“It was disappointing the way the game went – it was a strange game where we had opportunities but we never took them, but they took theirs when they came along.
“That was the big difference on Saturday.
“At the end of the day we are one game in – we have still got a lot to go.
“Hopefully we can start with a win at home.”