Many players have come and gone during Michael Gardyne’s four spells with Ross County but the winger is loving being reunited with a number of his former team-mates in the current side.
Gardyne first joined County on loan from Celtic in 2006 before joining permanently two years later. He left to join Dundee United in 2012 but returned on loan in 2014 before signing permanently the following year.
The 32-year-old holds the club’s appearance and goalscoring records, netting 69 times in 365 outings.
Despite County suffering relegation from the Premiership last season, Gardyne opted to remain at Dingwall where he has seen former Staggies players Iain Vigurs, Don Cowie and Brian Graham return to the club.
With co-manager Stuart Kettlewell also a former team-mate there is no shortage of familiarity for Gardyne.
He said: “I have played with these guys all throughout the years. I played with Don 12 years ago in my season on loan and then he left – it’s crazy.
“I heard Don speaking last week about how things have changed since he has been here but that’s the way it happens at a football club. Iain Vigurs has come in and he has been brilliant, I think he was maybe one of the best players in the Championship last year.
“We have recruited well and we have kept the lads the managers wanted to keep from last season. The lads have gelled well, we have got that good balance now in the team and it’s a good squad.”
County have made a promising start to their Championship campaign and top the table after four games with their focus turning to the IRN-BRU Cup for Saturday’s second round tie at home to Raith Rovers.
Gardyne says early season form has gone a long way towards eradicating the pain of last season.
He added: “There was a lot of talk about whether there was going to be a hangover from last season but the managers were all about stamping that out and making sure that wasn’t going to happen.
“They have brought lads in and kept lads that were here last season and I think it’s going as well as it could at the start of the season.
“It’s all about getting that feel-good factor about the club again after last season. Winning games creates that, and we have been able to do that.
“Obviously we have lost one or two, but you can’t win every game. It’s how you bounce back, and we have done that with a win.”