Max Ram reckons Caley Thistle can offer him the next crucial step in his football career – and he can help turn the Highlanders into Championship winners.
The defender, 21, has just joined from English League One side Wycombe Wanderers after being released to search for new opportunities.
He impressed on loan at Hungerford Town in National League South, but the lure of a two-year contract in the north of Scotland was tempting for the former Leicester and Nottingham Forest youth player.
And, when he was alerted to Caley Thistle’s interest, he says he didn’t have to think twice about whether to head north to kick his career forward.
He said: “It was a deal I couldn’t turn down.
“I have played football in England for pretty much all my life and I just felt now is the right time for a new challenge and see where it takes me.
“I follow my football quite a lot and a few of my mates play up in Scotland. The standard is really good and when the chance came up, I was really excited to try it out.
“Anthony Stewart has just joined Aberdeen from Wycombe and I played with him last season and I felt now was the time for this challenge.
“In England, there are so many players clubs can choose from and the squads are really big, so opportunities can be really limited.
“I just wanted to go somewhere I can try and get my chance and show people what I can do and I’m hoping this is right for me. I feel like it is.
“I’m looking forward to the next two years, especially this coming season.”
Defender praises Scottish standards
Caley Thistle, who finished third in the Championship in May, knocked out Partick Thistle and Arbroath in the promotion play-offs before running out of steam in the final 45 minutes of the final at St Johnstone.
Ram is a bit of a fan of Scottish football, having watched the top two tiers on TV, and he wants to be a hit for viewers and to help drive Billy Dodds on to title glory.
He said: “I have watched a lot of Scottish football on TV back home and I know what it’s all about. A lot of people watch these games, so that’s another thing I am looking forward to.
“I actually watched the play-off final and the team were really unlucky to miss out.
“Hopefully I can add something to the team which can help us get through and win promotion.”
🏆 Our Fixtures for the 2022/23 #PremierSportsCup Group Stage
Ticket Info TBC pic.twitter.com/Svl5Y3TZyR
— Inverness Caledonian Thistle FC (@ICTFC) May 27, 2022
Winning battles makes Ram tick
And Ram outlined what ICT supporters can expect from him as he aims to win and retain his place in the team.
He added: “I am a big, commanding centre-back. I like to defend first, more than anything. My playing style will come after that.
“First and foremost, I like to win headers and duels and will put my body on the line for the team.”
The defender will hope to be available for selection this Saturday when ICT’s competitive campaign starts at Kelty Hearts in the Premier Sports Cup.
While he admits kicking off games with meaning so early in July is new, he feels it might be the best way to hit the ground running at his new club.
He said: “Our season in England normally starts in the middle of August and we get eased into it throughout pre-season, but I don’t think there’s anything better than being thrown straight in there and learning on the job.”