New Ros County forward Oli Shaw wants to consign a frustrating 2019 to the past by rekindling the form which saw him tipped for greatness at previous club Hibernian.
Shaw left Hibs to complete a permanent move to County on Wednesday, in time to make his debut as a late substitute in the 0-0 draw at home to Hearts later that evening.
The 21-year-old had been a highly-regarded prospect at Easter Road, with Hibs chief executive Leeann Dempster describing Shaw as one of the best players of his age group in Europe last February.
Shaw has endured a frustrating campaign however , with his eight appearances all coming from the bench.
Shaw is eager to repay the determination of County co-managers Steven Ferguson and Stuart Kettlewell to bring him north and he said: “It has been a frustrating 11 or 12 months for me at Hibs.
“I haven’t started a game since February. I was biding my time, but when the opportunity came up to come here and play football, make a fresh start, I was going to grasp it with both hands. Hopefully I can come here and do well.
“The managers phoned me on Wednesday, wanting me to get it done as quickly as possible so that I could get involved against Hearts.
“It was a bit of a whirlwind, but we drove up the road for 4pm and got it all sorted.
“Coming up here, getting on the bench and playing 20 minutes put a wee spring in my step. It’s good to be back on the pitch. Hopefully I can add some goals to it. It would have been nice to get some goals, but it wasn’t to be. Hopefully I can kick on from there.”
Dempster’s comments were cause for surprise for Shaw, but the Scotland under-21 international insists he did his best to take them in his stride.
He added: “When I saw it I was shocked to say the least. It’s one of those things, she believed it at that moment in time.
“I was playing regularly, scoring goals and she made the comment. I didn’t really pay attention to it, I was focused on my own game.
“Obviously that pressure does build up. People from the outside look in and think ‘he’s not doing it, he’s not getting the game time, what’s going on?’
“For me it was a comment that was put out, but it didn’t faze me. A lot of my mates and fans messaged me about it here and there. I just tried to get my head down and work hard.”
Edinburgh-born Shaw enjoyed his best spell at Hibs under Neil Lennon, but fell out of favour under Paul Heckingbottom and current boss Jack Ross.
Shaw is egaer to embrace a new challenge in the Highlands, adding: “I had plenty of chats with the managers about how things were going. I was still in their plans, but that lack of game time was frustrating me so I’ve come here to hopefully get that game time and progress my career.
“There was an opportunity for me to go on loan in August but for some reason it just didn’t happen. Heckingbottom wanted to keep me in and around the team, but the lack of game time was frustrating. I’m glad this opportunity has come up.
“It will be difficult at first. I’ve come from the youths at Hibs and grown up in Edinburgh, so it will be different for me, but it’s a completely fresh start.”