After a frustrating final two years of his time at Dunfermline, Lewis Spence could have been forgiven for biting off Brechin boss Darren Dods’ hand when he offered the 21-year-old a contract for the coming season.
Two successful loan spells at Glebe Park meant the midfielder knew if he’d accepted the chance of a permanent switch there, first-team football would have been virtually guaranteed.
And having been in the wilderness at East End Park pretty much since the moment Allan Johnston arrived as manager, getting a regular game has become a priority.
But when the chance to join Dundee instead came up, even though he knew that would mean a battle for game time, Spence jumped at it.
The fact he would be teaming up with former mentor Neil McCann did, he admits, have a lot to do with the speed with which he made his decision.
And now he’s determined to use his opportunity to kickstart his career.
“I’m buzzing, it wasn’t expected and I just want to take my chance and make the most of it,” he said.
“I’d like to thank Dundee and Neil, who got me this deal, because it’s a big opportunity for me, to be in the Premiership with a massive club like Dundee.
“I was in talks with Brechin because I had been on loan there a couple of times and enjoyed it. They’ve been promoted, so I wouldn’t have been dropping down a league.
“I felt I needed some game time and going there would have been a good move for me but then Neil got the job here and gave me a phone.
“It took a couple of weeks or so to sort out but he said he wanted me on board and would give me a season to show I’m good enough and my mind was made up right away.
“He’s been with me before at Dunfermline. He knows what I can do and got the best out of me before, so I’m happy to be working with him again.”
It was when the Dens gaffer was assisting Jim Jefferies at the Pars that Spence first caught the eye and the player recognises the positive influence the former Sky TV pundit had on his progress.
“From 16 onwards, Neil was pushing for me to be involved in the first team and I got in at 17.
“Then I was playing week in, week out, and doing well. But there was a change of manager and I dropped out of the picture.
“It didn’t work out and I don’t know to this day why but that happens in football, it’s about opinions.
“Overall, I enjoyed my time at Dunfermline even if the last two years were frustrating because I was on the bench a lot and then got loaned out a couple of times.
“That wasn’t what I wanted to be doing because I’d had a taste of the first team and I wanted to be playing in the starting XI.
“This has given me the chance of a fresh start and I’m determined to make the most of it.”
One thing that’s clear is if the gamble he’s taken does not work out, it won’t be for want of trying.
“I know it’s going to be hard because it is a big step up and there are good players here, so there’s a lot of competition for places.
“But I believe in my ability and I think Neil believes in my ability, so I intend to prove a lot of people wrong.
“It’s a big help that the gaffer believes in me, that’s a big part of the reason why I came.”