Lawrence Shankland was disappointed with how the season ended but the Dundee United striker insists he feels more for those unable to celebrate their success.
The coronavirus pandemic meant United were crowned Championship winners in a shortened campaign, unable to enjoy their day in the sun.
There were virtual celebrations among the players and staff after a stellar season but they will have to wait for a real title party.
For star man Shankland, intent on sticking around at Tannadice, that day will come, but for released men Paul Watson, Osman Sow and Rakish Bingham, it seems they’ve been robbed of that moment.
The 24-year-old Scotland forward has mixed emotions about the situation.
“It was the worst way to win the league ever and I never want to win a league ever again in my life like that,” Shanks said on The Dode Fox Podcast.
“But winning trophies doesn’t happen that often in people’s careers.
“We have such a close-knit dressing-room, it’s a team where you can give everybody a text, it’s not just certain people.
“That was probably the worst thing, getting robbed of being able to celebrate with everybody.
“This is the time in football when people move on. Watson, Osman and everyone else got announced last week
“That’s the disappointing thing, to achieve what we achieved and not being able to have that wee celebration with those people that are moving on.
“We’re going to be there next season and will be able to celebrate it one way or another when we’re together but to see boys moving on is hard.
“I really feel for them.”
Reflecting on his first season at Tannadice, former Ayr United goal machine Shankland insists he felt at home at United right away.
He added: “I knew what I was signing up for, having played against the boys the season before.
“There was something different about them.
“I knew Mark Reynolds, Peter Pawlett and Cammy Smith so that helped.
“I feel like, not just for myself, it’s a good place to come into.
“It’s a good changing-room and was welcoming from the start. I felt a part of it right away.
“That helped me settle in and the football takes care of itself.”
Outwith title glory, one of the best moments for Shanks was scoring twice against top-flight Hibs in their Scottish Cup fourth-round tie.
United were dumped out after a replay but Shankland believes they can take the positives into the Premiership next season as the Tangerines set their sights on a top-six finish.
He continued: “It was an exciting tie for us – everyone was looking at it as probably one of the biggest of the round and it was, obviously, televised and they brought a big crowd up with them as well.
“It had a bit of a derby feel to it because the crowd was so good.
“At home we more than matched them and earned the replay.
“At times, we probably were a wee bit under the cosh and rode our luck a wee bit.
“In those games you need to. When we went down to Easter Road and it went to 2-2 it could’ve gone either way.
“It was just important big (Christian) Doidge took all his chances that night.
“There’s nothing much you can do if a striker’s on form and he takes them all.
“It showed us as players we have the ability to match teams like that.
“Hibs have got real good quality through their team, they’re all good footballers and comfortable on the ball.
“That’s something we need to take up to next season, to be confident in going to places like that and playing.
“I felt we can take the positives out of it.”
It wasn’t all plain sailing in his first season with the Terrors but Shankland believes their recovery from consecutive defeats to Alloa and Queen of the South showed their mettle.
Lifting the lid on their post-match debrief in Dumfries, he explained: “It wasn’t the gaffer after the Queen of the South game, it was the players.
“We knew that performance wasn’t acceptable, obviously.
“Alloa was a tighter game where we could’ve maybe got something from it, albeit we didn’t play well at all.
“But when we went down to Queen of the South we got absolutely battered.
“We were second to every ball that bounced and we just knew ourselves we were nowhere near good enough.
“The boys after the game had a conversation and we put our differences aside over how we all felt.
“I felt it really helped at the time because you don’t want to get caught up in bad runs.
“It was two or three games on the bounce but we knew they were hard places to go.
“We knew other teams would struggle there and it wouldn’t be just us but the performance at Queen of the South, for me personally, I felt I let down myself.
“I knew how bad I’d played and my team-mates were the same.
“That was the main thing – everybody looked at themselves and we discussed what we could improve on.
“That’s what we did and I felt it worked.”