Scott Brown has offered a heartfelt thanks to Peterhead and its supporters after bringing an end to his six years at the club.
It was announced on Friday that Brown would be leaving at the end of his contract this summer, with a return to full-time football with Raith Rovers materialising for the midfielder.
Brown had long-held ambitions to return to the full-time game, having said goodbye to it after leaving Premiership side St Johnstone in 2016.
He has been a mainstay of Jim McInally’s side at Peterhead, ascending to club captain in 2020 and helping the club establish itself again in League One.
Brown has joined the Stark’s Park side on a two-year deal and he wanted to thank those who had supported him during his long association with Peterhead.
“They’ve made me feel welcome for the last six years,” said Brown. “They’ve taken me under their wing and made me one of their own. For that I thank them.
“I’m sure under Jim and Davie (Nicholls), they’ll still enjoy the football on the park and hopefully I’ll be back soon.
“It was hard to call an end to it. It’s just one of those things, I felt the time was right to move on. I’ve had a great time and loved my six years.
“I can’t thank Jim, Davie, Stuart Hogg, the chairman and all the staff for making me feel as welcome as they have.”
‘You learn from the bad times’
Brown’s first season at Peterhead ended in relegation and a year later, they missed out on promotion back to League One in the play-offs.
But the title win in 2019, sealed with a win at Hampden Park against Queen’s Park, stands out as a highlight.
“It was probably our biggest achievement,” added Brown. “When I think back on my time here, a lot of the memories come back to that, especially after missing out narrowly the year before.
“We were relegated in my first season but you learn from the bad times and we did. The club came back in a better place from that.
“I had a special bond with the club and we knew that we wouldn’t stand in each other’s way. I’m sure if they wanted to get rid of me, I wouldn’t have made a fuss about it.
“People move on from time-to-time and they’ve still got a strong structure in place with some good players. I’m sure they’ll be fine going forward.”
Now or never
The chance to go full-time again is not something Brown felt he could turn down. Opportunities had come and gone in the past, with Ayr United, Falkirk and Dunfermline all being credited with interest in his services at one stage or another.
But at 27, he knew it was getting to the point of “now or never” with his football career.
"I would like to thank Scott for the service he has given the club"
— Peterhead FC (@pfcofficial) May 27, 2022
“I’m no longer a young player,” said Brown. “This new opportunity is something I’m really looking forward to.
“The hard work starts now. I need to make sure I’m in as best shape as I can be to go back into full-time. I’m under no illusions it’s going to be tough for me.
“But it’s a good opportunity and something that would have been really hard to turn down. I’m really excited about it.
“I think if I wasn’t, I would be doing the wrong thing. Sometimes in football you can get comfortable, which is dangerous.
“Change is not always a bad thing and I’m looking forward to giving my best to my new cub, new manager and new team-mates.”