Midfielder Milan Lalkovic is eager to make up for lost time at Ross County after coming within a whisker of joining the Highland club last summer.
The on-loan Portsmouth player, pictured below, sealed his move to Dingwall on Friday with manager Jim McIntyre getting his man six months after first showing him around the Global Energy Stadium.
Lalkovic made 17 appearances for Pompey in League Two, but grew weary of toiling to gain a first team foothold at Fratton Park with almost half of those appearances coming from the bench.
Now the 24-year-old, a former Slovakia under-21 international, is seeking to reboot his career with County.
Lalkovic said: “I was here in the summer before I signed for Portsmouth.
“The manager showed me around and wanted to sign me, but Portsmouth is a huge club, close to where I live. I have bought a house there and my wife works around London.
“That was obviously in my mind and I chose Portsmouth.
“But I came very close to joining Ross County.
“I’d had a good season in England with Walsall and became a free agent. With Walsall, we missed out by just one point to go into the Championship, which was a shame because 12 players then left the club and the team was broken up.
“I got a good deal from Portsmouth and it started well down there. But then something changed in the manager’s head. I knocked on his door and said if nothing is going to change, I’m sure Ross County would be still interested if you let me go. After a few days, that happened.”
Lalkovic is the third Slovakian to beat a path to Dingwall, following in the footsteps of midfielder Filip Kiss and full back Erik Cikos. He said: “I know most people in England don’t rate the Scottish Premiership any more, but I don’t know why.
“I think the standard is good otherwise I wouldn’t have come here.”