Ross County forward Ross Stewart feels he will reap the benefits of spending an extra year in the Championship as he prepares to step up to the top-flight this season.
Stewart last year opted to leave St Mirren, who had won promotion to the Premiership, in order to join the Staggies in the second-tier.
Although he initially found game time hard to come by, Stewart played an increasingly prominent role in County’s title triumph as the campaign progressed, netting 11 goals in 32 appearances.
The 23-year-old feels he is now more ready for Premiership football than 12 months ago with the Buddies, and he said: “I think it has helped. When we won promotion with St Mirren I was on loan at Alloa in the league below.
“Last year I racked up quite a lot of appearances in that league. To find out how I coped, and to get the goals I did, I think it’s certainly something that has improved my game leaps and bounds.
“I got that experience of playing a lot of first-team games from the start and getting minutes last year which has set me in good stead.
“Pre-season went well and I can’t wait for the league to start.”
Stewart is confident he can contribute to a successful top-flight campaign with the Dingwall men, adding: “When I came up here the aim was to get out of the league and get this club back to where it wants to be, which is the Premiership.
“To be there now, it’s a season I’m personally really looking forward to. It’s a league I’ve always wanted to play in, and I’ve now got that chance.
“I will be doing my best to make an impact, and test myself against some really good teams and players.
“As a team we have targets this year and hopefully we can get to where we want to be.
Stewart made the ideal start to the new campaign by netting twice in County’s 4-1 Betfred Cup victory over Montrose and he is keen to repay the faith shown by co-managers Stuart Kettlewell and Steven Ferguson.
He said: “That’s hopefully what I will look to do more of this season.”