Raith Rovers goalkeeper Jamie MacDonald will always be grateful to Peter Grant for affording him a new lease of life at Alloa.
However, that will not diminish his determination to pile the misery on the Dunfermline manager as derby day dawns in Kirkcaldy.
MacDonald, 35, was firmly out of the picture at Kilmarnock when Grant signed him on loan for the first half of the 2019/20 campaign.
The former Hearts and Falkirk goalkeeper was sensational during that period for the Wasps, helping them ultimately secure Championship survival and underlining his own quality and longevity.
MacDonald told Courier Sport: “I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Alloa when Peter [Grant] was manager.
“It was a good time for me, at a point in my career when I needed it.
“Things weren’t going well at Kilmarnock and I wasn’t enjoying my football as much as I would have liked.
“I went to Alloa and enjoyed my football again. I was playing regularly alongside a really great group of boys and kicked on from there.”
Having plied his trade under Grant, MacDonald is acutely aware of the demanding, up-tempo style Dunfermline are seeking to implement.
As yet, it has been a bumpy road.
The Pars followed up a 2-2 draw against Morton in their Championship opener with a 3-0 reverse at home to Partick Thistle.
While travelling to Rangers in the Premier Sports Cup was always likely to be an onerous task, the manner of their 5-0 surrounding was woeful.
However, MacDonald reckons Grant will stick to his guns and is loath to underestimate the Pars.
He continued: “He wants to play attractive, attacking football — a lot like we do at Raith — and focuses on getting the ball down.
“Even our gaffer [John McGlynn] said last year that Peter Grant’s Alloa side were the best bottom of the league team he had seen!
“If you have a philosophy on the game, it’s about being big enough and bold enough to stick with it.”
MacDonald added: “We know what a tough test Dunfermline will be and it should make for a really entertaining, attacking game for the fans.”
Savouring the stick
While the battle on the pitch will be fascinating, MacDonald is also relishing the back-and-forth in the stands.
He is a veteran of many derby days in Fife and Edinburgh — he was between the sticks for arguably Hearts’ greatest ever triumph against Hibs; the 5-1 Scottish Cup final in 2012 — and loves the crackling atmosphere created.
Save of the Weekend contender here.
— The Goalkeepers' Union Podcast (@GKUnion) January 25, 2021
MacDonald added: “In the derby matches last season, we still felt that extra spice and additional motivation.
“However, that lack of fans was felt. I loved having the supporters back in their numbers against Aberdeen — and it’ll be just as special for the Fife derby.
“I’m even looking forward to going to East End Park later in the season and getting pelters there!
“You want that atmosphere, excitement and the pressure, and to see who rises to the challenge.