Good things come to those who wait and, for Dario Zanatta, his move to Raith Rovers was six months in the making.
The Canada youth international has revealed that Stark’s Park boss John McGlynn first registered his interest back in January, with both parties keen to make the switch happen as he endured a miserable spell with Ayr United.
However, they could not get the transfer over the line and Zanatta saw out the season at Somerset Park, making just six starts all campaign.
However, he penned a pre-contract with the Kirkcaldy club and is now seeking to kickstart his career.
“There was a bit of interest before and I was trying to get here in January,” Zanatta told Courier Sport. “That didn’t work out, but once I knew I could get here this summer — and having watched them last year — I knew this was the place for me.
“It became: ‘How quickly can I get there?’ Anyone who watched Raith last season will know there’s not a player in Scotland who wouldn’t want to be playing that way.
“I’ve really enjoyed it so far. It’s a brilliant group of boys and I already knew the style I’d be coming into. It’s exceeded my expectations already.”
Zanatta found the net once for the Honest Men last term, fresh from notching just three times for Partick Thistle in the previous, Covid-curtailed campaign in which the Jags were relegated.
However, he is adamant that he can rediscover the form which saw him bag eight goals in 39 appearances for Alloa in 2018/19 and emerge as one of the Championship’s brightest young wingers.
“It’s been a difficult period,” continued the 24-year-old. “I was at Partick for a season and we weren’t anywhere near where we should have been.
“I wanted a new beginning at Ayr. It just didn’t work out there. I didn’t see eye-to-eye with the manager [Mark Kerr] at times and then other players came in who he fancied over me.
“But I know what I’m capable of in this league. I know I can be a massive threat. I haven’t played as many minutes as I would have liked in the last couple of seasons, but I believe I can get back to my best.
“It is massive for any player to know that the manager values you.”
Looking ahead to the challenge of replicating, or bettering, Rovers’ exploits of last term — reaching the playoff semi-finals — Zanatta echoes the ambitions running through the club.
“It will be a really competitive league and we don’t want to get carried away, but I think we should be towards the top of the table — at least in that playoff area,” he added.
“Teams will be more aware of the style we play and look to combat it, but it’s up to us to deal with that and hopefully build on the successes of last season.”