Despite suffering the drop with Ross County last season, Liam Fontaine insists he is enjoying his football again since joining the Staggies in January.
Fontaine arrived at Victoria Park from Hibs with the target of reviving his career after an ankle injury reduced him to just two appearances for the Edinburgh side last term.
The Englishman went on to make 14 appearances for County after signing on a short-term deal under previous manager Owen Coyle midway through the campaign.
Although the season ended with relegation to the Championship, Fontaine insists it was an easy decision to commit his future for another 12 months. The 32-year-old, who is in Holland on Ross County’s pre-season training camp, said: “Setting aside last season’s disappointment, the move has been everything I wanted it to be.
“The main reason I first came to Ross County was to get back playing games as I’d been out long-term at Hibs the previous year.
“The other reason I agreed to stay for longer was because I was enjoying my football.
“It was as simple as that.
“I enjoy my football, the training, the boys here and the whole group of players and staff.
“If you’re enjoying your football, you play with a different type of feeling in yourself – your confidence is high.
“It’s just a case of being happy and I’m happy – just buzzing, really, for what lies ahead.
“It is one of the reasons why I re-signed here and why I wanted to come back on a longer deal.
“I can see the direction and the structure that’s been put in place.
“I’d like to stay longer term after the contract is finished but you just never know.”
Staggies co-managers Stuart Kettlewell and Steven Ferguson have handed Fontaine the vice-captaincy as back-up to Marcus Fraser for the new season and, having had the armband at Bristol City and Hibs, the defender is ready for the responsibility.
He added: “It’s a fantastic honour – I’m delighted.
“It’s a role that comes naturally to me. I’m one of the older heads in the dressing-room and I’m there to support and help Marcus with things off the field.
“On the field, though, we have plenty leaders.
“I’ve been captain a few times at different clubs like Bristol City. Nothing really changes in how you conduct yourself.
“I’ve been in the game a long time and there are many different kinds of captains and leaders I’ve come across. Everyone is different.
“I’ll just conduct myself like I always do.”