Jake Hyde says his time at Dundee made him the player he is today.
And he’s hoping those striking skills — honed on the Dens Park turf — can aid one of the Dark Blues’ former derby day foes.
Over the past week, Hyde, now of English League Two outfit York City, has been settling to life at Bootham Crescent with a new man at the helm — former Dundee United manager Jackie McNamara.
And Hyde says he hopes the ex-Tangerines gaffer, who was sacked by United last month, can lift the Minstermen to a new level — away from the Football League survival battle.
“Fingers crossed under the new manager we can get onto the right path and start planning for the future,” said the 25-year-old.
“It hasn’t gone well so far this season, but I’m sure it will because we have got the players to turn this round.
“We’ll all have to pull together to get there, and it will mean doing things differently, but the boys will respond to that.
“Personally, I still want to learn, I want to become a better player, and I want to learn from the new manager.
“I want to look back at my career and be able to say I was the best player I possibly could have been.”
Looking back, Hyde pinpoints his time at Dens as a kick-starter for his career.
Back in March 2011, with Dundee under a transfer embargo after entering administration the October previous, Hyde signed for Lochee United on a deal until the end of the season.
A cunning plan to work around the SFA ruling saw Hyde then play for Dundee as a trialist from the Thomson Park outfit.
On his debut he netted in a 1-1 draw with Dunfermline before bagging a brace four days later against Cowdenbeath as part of Barry Smith’s ‘Dee-fiant’ Dark Blues side.
He was then snapped up by the Pars before returning to Dens in the summer, where he scored another six goals in 14 starts.
“It was a very important period in my career,” said Hyde.
“I’d like to think I’m a far different player now to the one that arrived at Dundee. That’s because of what Scotland gave me — first-team football. It changed me as a player.”
Hyde, who made his second appearance under McNamara in Tuesday’s Johnstone’s Paint Trophy quarter-final defeat to Barnsley, continued: “My time in Scotland helped me with the physicality of the game.
“As a boy, you’re brought up learning how to play but there’s no way you can appreciate how physically tough the men’s game is.
“My time at Dundee helped me wake up to that. I saw for the first time what I was getting into.
“You need to learn about that side of things to become a player and there’s a lot to be said for the Scottish league there.
“I was only there for a year — and because I was so young, I didn’t show exactly what I’m capable of — but the experience has helped me become the player I am today.”
Two defeats in two is hardly the way McNamara would have wanted to start life down south but Hyde is certain things are going in the right direction at City.
“The club has massive potential — that’s the reason I signed,” he said.
“The year I came here, the club had just been in the play-offs and they were looking to push on.
“Now they’re building a brand new stadium, the training ground is nice, the city is lovely — everything is there for the club to keep moving in the right direction.”