Shane Sutherland is ready to grasp a fresh start in full-time football after earning a return to Caley Thistle.
Sutherland is back at Caledonian Stadium after agreeing a pre-contract move from League Two club Elgin City in January, with the forward signing a one-year deal with Inverness.
The move comes seven years after Sutherland was released following 86 appearances for the Highlanders, netting three goals.
Having impressed at part-time level for Elgin and Peterhead in the years which have passed since, Sutherland feels he is better prepared for the task that awaits him with Inverness.
Sutherland said: “I enjoyed my years at Inverness with Terry Butcher. In 2013, I didn’t get my contract renewed and I left. I obviously didn’t show Terry enough to get that.
“I’m going back as a different person and a different player. I’ve played a lot of games and I’m used to playing every Saturday.
“I’ve over 200 starts in my career now and over 100 goals, and I’m looking forward to a fresh start.
“I’m buzzing to get going. It is seven years since I left and I always said I wanted to play full-time football. If the chance came, I’d jump at it.
“When I spoke to the manager in January about a pre-contract, I didn’t have a second thought. I spoke on the Tuesday or Wednesday and it was done by the Friday.
“It was one I couldn’t turn down.”
Although he is stepping up to the Championship with John Robertson’s men, Sutherland is confident he can earn a longer stay at Caley Thistle beyond next summer.
The Wick-born attacker added: “People I’ve spoken to, even my family, have said I go back with a point to prove, but it’s nothing to do with that.
“If I do what I think I can do and show my worth, buy into what the manager wants me to do, I’m sure it will be extended.”
Sutherland played his final game for Elgin in March prior to the coronavirus shutdown, however he says he has put the last four months to good use in order to prepare himself for returning to full-time football.
Sutherland added: “I’ve worked hard over the break, knowing I was going full-time.
“I had to try to get my fitness as high as I could to try and match the level the boys will be at. I started off doing 5k runs and then did a lot of 10ks, at least five days a week, as well as a lot of core work.
“I’m feeling good and really looking forward to it now.”