Tony Dingwall is grateful to get a second chance at Ross County after penning a new one-year deal.
An injury-hit two years have hampered Dingwall’s career but the faith of County’s new management team of Stuart Kettlewell and Steven Ferguson has given him a platform to fulfil his potential.
Dingwall first emerged as a first-team player under Jim McIntyre, scoring two goals against Motherwell in a 2-2 draw as a 20-year-old but a hand injury then a cruciate ligament tear in March last year, threatened to derail his County career.
He was handed a six-month extension as he worked his way back to fitnesss but did not feature for the first-team last season.
Dingwall had an emergency spell at League 2 side Elgin City but was again facing concerns about his future following County’s relegation to the Championship.
But co-managers Kettlewell and Ferguson spoke to him last Monday and Dingwall is relieved they see him as part of their plans.
Dingwall, whose younger brother Russell also signed a one-year extension, said: “They said I was unlucky not to play towards the end of the season as I was playing well.
“Having been out so long with an injury, it would be a risk putting me back in the team having not played at that level.
“I was out injured long-term and before that I had my hand injury – between that I’ve maybe not done enough personally.
“Since I’ve got back from my knee injury, I felt I’ve done everything possible to get a chance.
“I’m grateful to be given another chance and I feel lucky in a sense. I’m always confident in my ability to play in the team but managers have different opinions.
“I needed to get back up to speed fitness-wise and take it from there.”
The first change of management last season perhaps did not work in his favour.
Jim McIntyre gave him the chance to regain fitness but when he was sacked in September, Dingwall barely featured under Owen Coyle.
Dingwall added: “It can change your career. It’s really frustrating for me to think I should be given a chance and if I don’t get it, it’s hard to stay focused.
“I’d agree I’ve not really kicked on (since Motherwell). It’s been so stop-start since then with injury and it’s cornered me, you could say.
“A new management team spoke to me and believe I can bring something to the team. I hopefully can repay them with good performances next season. With a new management team it’s a fresh start for everyone and you’ve got to show them what you can do. They said it was a clean slate for everyone.”
County announced yesterday they will be embarking on a pre-season training camp in the Netherlands. The Staggies will head to Hotel De Wageningsche Berg, an hour outside Amsterdam from July 2-7. A friendly with Eredivisie side FC Utrecht is scheduled for July 6.