Jim McInally believes Peterhead will see the best of Steven Boyd in the new season due to his improved physical condition.
The Blue Toon boss has been impressed with the striker since the Buchan outfit returned to pre-season training.
Boyd arrived at Balmoor in January and made six appearances last term and scored once prior to the season being cut short in March due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The 23-year-old endured fitness struggles after joining Peterhead, which McInally felt held him back.
However, the former Hamilton, Livingsston and East Fife attacker has worked hard during lockdown to improve that aspect of his game and McInally believes the Blue Toon will reap the rewards when the new term begins next month.
Their season gets underway on October 10 against Dundee United in the League Cup group stage, with their opening League One fixture seven days later against Airdrieonians.
McInally said: “Steven’s ability has never been in question it’s just about being able to show that ability with his fitness.
“It’s an important period for Steven in his career because prior to last season he’s always been full-time. But I think the penny has dropped now that he needs to go and prove himself and fulfill his potential.
“And with the condition he’s in now it won’t be lack of fitness that holds him back so it’s just up to him to do well.”
McInally says Boyd’s current condition is the best he’s been in since joining Peterhead.
Although the coronavirus pandemic causing football to be shutdown was a blow to the game, the enforced break due to lockdown has benefited Boyd, according to McInally.
Scotland’s longest serving manager added: “Steven’s come back really fit. It’s probably the best condition I’ve seen him in and it’s really pleasing to see him come back like that.
“It’s clear he wants to have a right go at it this season. When he joined us he was behind in terms of fitness.
“He had a lot of catching up to and he wasn’t able to do it before lockdown.
“Perhaps he’s benefited from everybody being off for the same amount of time and now when they’ve come back it’s a fresh start and he can get on with it.
“Fitness is everything in football now from the top teams right the way down.
“You can’t afford to carry anybody and if you have that fitness it allows the ability to shine through.”