Coll Donaldson makes no apologies for being selfish in his decision to cross the Kessock Bridge to join Ross County.
Donaldson earlier this week ended a two-and-a-half year spell with Caley Thistle to join rivals County for an undisclosed fee, following a long pursuit by the Dingwall club.
The 24-year-old becomes the latest player to be lured from Caledonian Stadium by the Staggies, following in the footsteps of Ross Draper, Iain Vigurs and Joe Chalmers in recent times.
Although Donaldson has faced backlash from Inverness supporters for crossing the Highland divide, he insists he could not resist the lure of returning to the Premiership.
Donaldson said: “To be honest, what came into my thinking was more the loyalty I had towards the manager. You make good friendships when you work somewhere for two-and-a-half years.
“You build up strong connections with people, but you have to be selfish at times – and this was a good move for me on a footballing basis.
“That was my biggest concern. It is a fickle business and a short career. When an opportunity like this arises, it is hard to turn down.
“I’m really excited and looking forward to it.”
Donaldson returns to the top-flight for the first time since suffering relegation with Dundee United in 2015, and has credited Inverness manager John Robertson for reviving his career.
Donaldson is eager to continue his development under Staggies co-managers Stuart Kettlewell and Steven Ferguson, adding: “I feel mentally, more than anything, I’ve matured in the last two and a half years.
“I’ve got a lot to thank John Robertson for. He took me when a lot of people wouldn’t, worked with me and gave me that self-belief I needed.
“He believed in me and he’s done a great job, not just with me but with a few boys.
“I’m still really young, only 24, and for a centre half that’s relatively inexperienced.
“Both co-managers have come from a development background working with the youth team.
“Now they’re in a management role, but they’ve kept that development role on in terms of working with players and improving them.
“That’s something I need at this stage in my career, so that’s a massive plus-point for me.”
Edinburgh-born Donaldson is pleased to remain in the Highlands, adding: “I’ve made friends up here and I do enjoy living here.
“I’ve got my wee dog here with me – a wee Old English Bulldog called Smokes – and he’s always lived in the Highlands. He doesn’t know any different.
“Me and him enjoy living up here together. It was out of the question I’d go anywhere else – he wasn’t ready to move yet.
“I have invested in a flat here and I was around at Sean Welsh’s on Wednesday and said to him it was a strange kind of football move.
“Normally when boys in your team move, they move house and move away. You don’t see them again.
“But I’m not moving house and my club is just another 10 minutes up the road.”