Nick van der Velden has revealed that it is precisely because Dundee United face a challenge to get back to the Premiership that he chose to join them.
The 34-year-old frontman, who signed a one-year deal with the Tangerines earlier this week, was looking for a new “goal” after spending 14 years playing in Holland.
United’s task of getting back up to the top flight at the first time of asking may have proved daunting to some but Van der Velden is relishing it.
As the Dutchman prepared to make his first start for his new side away to Inverness Caley Thistle today in the Betfred Cup, he said: “I feel that everyone at the club, especially the fans, really wants to get back up.
“That’s great for me because as a player I like to have a goal for my career.
“I want something to achieve so that it brings the best out of me.
“I get a feeling within me that there is a desire within the club to be in the top division again.
“That’s why I chose United.
“This is a challenge and I like challenges. I need them.
“This is my goal at this moment and I am delighted to be here.
“It is a dream for me to play abroad and I have always had that ambition.
“Scotland is a great place for me.
“This move is not just about football as it will enrich me as a person and I will experience a new culture.”
Van der Velden played the last half-hour of the 6-1 trouncing of Cowdenbeath in the cup at Tannadice on Tuesday night.
Even during that short spell, he showed plenty of good touches.
The smart money is on manager Ray McKinnon giving him an hour of the ICT clash as he continues to improve his match sharpness.
That will suit the Dutchman just fine.
“It was beautiful and amazing to make my debut on Tuesday,” he said.
“We won 6-1 and did well but I think the real test for the team will come at Inverness on Saturday.
“I was impressed with my new teammates as we played good football and found each other with the ball really well.
“I wasn’t surprised by that because I had seen the boys in training.
“I knew what they were capable of and I could see that they were good technically.
“Of course, that was on the training field so it was good to see them take it into a game.
“You could also see the vision of the coach in how the team played.”
Van der Velden revealed just how big a role former United striker Mark de Vries had in persuading him to give Tannadice a go.
He said: “I know Mark very well and he said that the people are amazing and the fans are fantastic at United.
“He made me feel very good about the club and helped me make my choice.”