Peterhead manager Jim McInally is delighted to have brought Russell McLean back to Balmoor.
The 23-year-old striker has rejoined the Blue Toon after leaving Montrose.
McLean played for Buchan side between June 2017 and January 2019 when he made the switch to Links Park.
During his first stint with Peterhead, McLean scored 23 goals in 75 appearances.
Boss McInally is pleased to have the former East Kilbride frontman back in his squad.
Scotland’s longest-serving manager said: “I’m delighted to get him back. I wasn’t that keen to let him go in the first place.
“But it was one of those things, at the time we had Rory McAllister, Derek Lyle and Shane Sutherland.
“Russell wanted to play and we didn’t stand in his way, since he’s been away he’s done well.
“It was a no-brainer for us to bring him back and that’s what we’ve managed to do.
“When we had him before he was always a player I felt would get better with age and I think he’ll continue to do that.
“He’s proven he can score goals for us and hopefully he can continue improving with us.
“If he does keep improving I think Russell is a player that a full-time club will take a chance on at some point.”
McLean notched 11 goals in 25 games for Montrose last season.
‘There were games last season where we felt if we had that type of player we would have won’
McInally hopes he will increase Peterhead’s goal return this season after feeling they didn’t score enough last term.
He added: “He’s a goalscorer and there were games last season where we felt if we had that type of player we would have won.
“We feel we’ve got that back now with Russell returning.
“He also gives us good height and physical presence in the team which is important.
“Getting Russell back is a brilliant signing.”
McInally is delighted to have re-signed attacker Niah Payne, pending SFA approval.
The 22-year-old Englishman impressed during 11 appearances in the second half of last season, having joined in January.
However, with Payne being from Leeds there were some logistical challenges to overcome for him to remain with Peterhead.
McInally said: “I felt he was starting to show what he was capable of when last season finished.
“Niah is another player who will get better. We maybe won’t be the most experienced team this season, but we’ll have plenty of energy.”
This weekend Peterhead step up there preparations for the new season with a friendly double-header against Highland League opposition.
On Saturday, they will face Inverurie Locos before meeting Turriff United on Sunday before competitive action begins next weekend against Hearts in the League Cup.
McInally will also use the fixtures against Inverurie and Turriff to assess some trialists.
He said: “We’ll be having a look at some trialists. They’re here for pre-season, so we’ll see them in the games.
“We use this double-header of friendlies that we have every summer to have a look at people.”
The good news has continued at Balmoor with midfielder Gary Fraser targeting a return to action before the end of the year thanks to a successful fundraiser.
Fraser suffered a serious knee injury just before Christmas in a draw with Montrose and his colleagues in the game and at the Blue Toon have helped raise funds for the two procedures he needs.
McInally’s decision to sell his Dundee United jersey from the 1987 UEFA Cup Final raised £6,600 in the auction to raise for Fraser.
McInally’s donation was one of many, with team-mate Simon Ferry’s promotion-winning Swindon shirt, as well as Hibs striker Kevin Nisbet’s shirt he wore when he scored his first Scotland goal, also among the items included for auction.
McInally said: “I would like to thank the person who bought my jersey and everyone who either bid for an auction item or donated to the fundraiser.
“Everyone’s generosity has not only helped us get Gary’s operation, but has also helped us raise £15,000 for a really important cause in Back Onside.”