Sean Welsh is aiming to lead Caley Thistle’s young squad by example after being handed the captain’s armband.
Midfielder Welsh takes over as skipper following the departure of Carl Tremarco, who joined rivals Ross County in the summer.
The role will not be a new one for 30-year-old Welsh, who previously skippered Partick Thistle and also captained a Hibernian under-19 squad which won a league and cup double in 2009.
Welsh is hoping to repay the faith shown by manager John Robertson, and he said: “Carl was at the club for a long time, so somebody had to take on the duty to step up.
“The manager asked me if I would do that and it’s an honour to hold the armband and represent the club.
“I have done it all my career. I did it when I was at Hibs as a young lad, and I did it at Partick for years.
“I know what it entails. As we saw on Tuesday night, we’ve got a really young squad. It’s just about trying to keep boys right, and help them out where I can.
“I also need to try and focus on my own game at the same time, and not take anything away from that.”
Welsh was heartened by Caley Jags’ showing in Tuesday’s 1-0 Betfred Cup loss to Hearts, in which the Highlanders were missing several senior players.
Welsh reckons youngsters such as Daniel MacKay, Roddy MacGregor and Cameron Harper showed they will have a major role to play this term, adding: “The young boys are going to step up, they have been great in pre-season.
“Sometimes you have got to throw them in, it’s sink or swim, but all of them are more than good enough to step up to the challenge.
“Everyone sees we were more than a match with Hearts, and that was us with half a squad.
“The young boys did absolutely great, which just shows the strength in the squad we’ve got.
“We’ve got seven or eight boys sitting at home still to come back. It will be a different game in the league,
“Hearts will have some boys coming back, but we showed we can match anyone if we put in the effort on the pitch.”
Welsh was limited to just seven outings for Caley Thistle last term due to injury, with the Edinburgh-born player hopeful of better fortune in the new campaign.
He added: “Touchwood, I can only hope it’s a fresh start.
“Injuries in football are one of these things, but lockdown gave me a chance to reset and get myself fit again.
“I have worked pretty hard. We have only been training three weeks and played two friendlies.
“We are still getting up to speed. I’ve still got a bit to go in terms of match sharpness, but I can only hope by
having this pre-season behind me and a good bit of fitness work it will stand me in good stead for the season ahead.”