Scott Robertson is simply grateful to be back playing again after fearing his football career was over.
The 32-year-old Raith Rovers midfielder endured a nightmare last season, missing virtually the whole campaign with a groin injury, only to make his first appearance as a substitute in the final game – a relegation play-off defeat to Brechin City.
Despite battling his way back to fitness Robertson feared his time may be up, so he is understandably delighted to be back performing a dual player-coach role at Stark’s Park.
“First and foremost, just being back playing is enjoyable,” he said. “It’s not the league we want to be in, but the fact I’m back on the pitch, I’m over-joyed.
“Last season, in a collective sense, was tough with the situation at the club, but personally it was probably the worst season of my career.
“I only managed to play 60 minutes in the last game of the season, and that never went too well either.
“That was the toughest of my whole career, and I thought that was the end of it to be honest.
“I’d been in the same situation before. I was out 18 months with the same injury eight years ago, but I was younger and my stock was a lot higher, so when I came back, I still had a lot playing ahead of me.
“In this situation, I didn’t think there would be anything on the table from Raith, and who would want to take me after the season I’d had?
“I did think that there was a possibility football was done for me.”
Robertson prepared for the worst, even sitting the English Higher exam on the same day as his 16-year-old son, in order to gain the qualifications required to enter university.
“I found it difficult,” he said.
“There was things I was looking at, but I always had it at forefront of my mind that playing was what I still wanted to do.
“I was fortunate enough to scrape back in, and prove that I was fit.
“The club have been brilliant with me in offering me another year.”
Robertson also achieved his UEFA A-Licence last season and is enjoying taking his first steps into coaching with the Kirkcaldy club, with on eye on becoming a manager himself one day.
“It’s a lot of responsibility,” he said. “You know that as a player, but when it actually comes and things are on you, it highlights it a bit more.
“It’s enjoyable – I really do enjoy it – and I’d like to think I’ve got a good relationship with the players, and a good connection to the manager.
“I played with Barry for four years at Dundee so I know the kind of person he is, and what he was as a player.
“He’s exactly the same as a manager – hard-working.
“He likes the boys to have a laugh, but when it comes to training and playing there’s no mucking about – it’s deadly serious.
“Management is something I’ve thought about, but I wouldn’t be jumping straight into it.
“It would have to be, like I am at the moment, on the first rung of the ladder, be able to make mistakes in certain scenarios, and then once I’m ready, I’d like to give it a go.”