Nikolay Todorov is determined to take the Kevin Nisbet route to international football after revealing that he is already on the radar of Bulgaria manager Yasen Petrov.
Todorov, 24, has represented his nation at every age group up to under-21 level and admits watching ex-Pars marksman Nisbet enter the fray at a major finals whetted his own appetite for full recognition.
Petrov, who was appointed Bulgaria boss earlier this year, has already promised to usher in a new generation of talent — and 11 goals in 32 appearances for Inverness last term means the big forward firmly in the frame.
He knows that an impressive campaign with a Dunfermline side challenging for the title could make his ‘dream’ come true.
Todorov said: “I’ve watched Kevin Nisbet, I’ve played against him and he did really well for Dunfermline. From that, he’s playing for his national team and that’s the dream of every footballer.
“If you don’t dream about representing your country and playing at the highest level, you’re in the wrong job.
“My move to Dunfermline is a step forward and I’ve already had discussions with the Bulgaria manager. They had some interest in my progress after the season I had in Inverness.
“Part of my family still lives in Bulgaria and I represented the national team up to the under-21s. Every time the national anthem started and all my friends and family were in the stands — the feeling was unbelievable.
Nikolay Todorov got his 10th goal of the season yesterday during our draw with Queen of the South! pic.twitter.com/iPKcAQTE9b
— Inverness Caledonian Thistle FC (@ICTFC) April 11, 2021
“I just can’t imagine what it would be like to represent your full national team but that’s what I work towards.
“To know the international manager is watching is a good feeling, it gives you confidence and it means you are doing your job right. Hopefully, it’s a matter of time for it to happen.”
Todorov, who initially arrived in Scottish football with Hearts, underwent his first training session with his new teammates on Tuesday, having shunned Premiership interest to make the switch to East End Park.
He continued: “I was surprised by the amount of interest, including from the Premiership and elsewhere in the Championship and in England.
“However, I sat with my wife and my agent, and when I spoke with the manager [Peter Grant] and people in charge, they showed ambition to go forward and I want to be part of it. Everything else just disappeared as far as I was concerned.
“I spoke with a few friends who have been part of the club and they described it as a sleeping giant.
“We are aiming to win the league and, even if we fall short in second, third or fourth, we are still in the game for promotion. But we need to set our standards high.”
‘I will run through a brick wall’
The signing of Todorov — a blend of physicality and technical ability in attack — brushes aside any suggestion that boss Peter Grant will be a slave to intricate passing football.
Much in the manner he utilised Innes Cameron at Alloa last season, the ex-Livingston and Falkirk man will be an effective focal point to ripple the net and bring others into the game.
And he arrives high on confidence, promising a level of commitment which will instantly endear himself to the Pars faithful.
He added: “I feel like I started last season really well and then I don’t really want to discuss what happened in between, with the change of managers, but then I ended the season well.
“We had a really good, strong bond at the end of the season and that helped me and the team, and I scored a few goals.
“But I have always put the team first and played for the best interests of them.
“I will run through a brick wall for my team. That is who I am and what fans will get from me.”