Neil Alexander was all set for one last crack at the Premiership with Livingston but, once Dundee United came calling, he just couldn’t refuse.
The former Cardiff, Rangers and Hearts goalkeeper has joined the Tangerines as their goalkeeping coach and got straight to work on Thursday as the players returned for pre-season training.
Just over a month ago, Alexander was celebrating with his Livi team-mates after their promotion to the top-flight and fully expected to still be in goal come the new season.
He told the Tele: “It was tempting but I’m no spring chicken any more, I’m 40 years of age and have had 22 great years in the game and I’d rather leave the playing side on a high than maybe not have a great season, maybe get relegated and let myself down a little bit.
“I fully intended playing this year when I walked off the pitch at the final whistle at Partick Thistle in the play-off final – I thought ‘great, one last season at the top level’.
“Things don’t always work out that way, though, and Dundee United have given me a massive opportunity here which doesn’t come around all the time.
“A three-year contract gives me and my family a lot of security at my age and a platform to learn and develop my coaching so I’m very fortunate and very grateful for the opportunity and, hopefully, I can make the most of it.
“This is a new chapter in my life and it’s a natural step for me.
“Goalkeeping is all I know, I’ve done it for the past 22 years, I feel like I have a lot to offer.
“I have a lot of knowledge and experience in the position and I feel I can pass that on to the goalkeepers I am working with. I think the manager saw that and felt I had a lot to offer, hopefully, I can prove him right.
“It’s an exciting new chapter – one I was going to go into eventually, maybe a year sooner than I thought, but what a great club to come to and a great opportunity.”
The challenge to help United get themselves back up from the Championship, too, was a big lure.
He added: “This is a big club and they should be in the top flight.
“Hopefully, I can play my part in getting back to the top league and getting this club where it should be.
“That’s an exciting challenge for me and, hopefully, I play my part in doing what I do with the goalkeepers and passing on anything I can to the outfield players as well.”