Raith’s Lewis Milne admits working as a brickie’s labourer helped cement his determination to make it as a full-time footballer.
The 24-year-old started his career as a youth with Dunfermline but then went part-time with Cowdenbeath, Forfar and last season at Montrose.
The midfielder only joined the Gable Endies in January but scored 11 goals to play a huge part in Stewart Petrie’s side clinching the League 2 title.
Those exploits put him on Rovers boss Barry Smith’s radar and he was signed by the Kirkcaldy club in June.
Now, instead of toiling on building sites, Milne admits he is “living the dream” and he hopes that continues in this afternoon’s home derby with East Fife.
Milne said: “I was in Australia last summer for three months.
“When I came back, I was just helping out mates labouring, stuff like that.
“It was on building sites. I was working with joiners who weren’t too bad but when you got stuck with the brickies it certainly wasn’t easy!
“That makes you want to play football even more so I jumped at the chance when Raith came calling.
“I am living the dream and really enjoying training every day.
“I was going to the gym myself every day when I was part-time but there is nothing like being out on the training pitch with the boys getting sharp so I am loving it.
“I still feel there is a lot more to come from me in a Raith jersey.”
Despite his ambitions to go full-time, Milne admitted it was still a wrench moving from Montrose with the player only having good things to say about his former manager and the club.
He said: “It was hard leaving Montrose. I had signed a new deal but I had it in the contract that if a full-time team came calling, I would be able to leave.
“It was still tough moving as I really enjoyed my time at Montrose, especially winning the title.
“We were getting written off every week but we just kept winning – it was brilliant.
“I won’t say too much about the celebrations but I think 26 of us went to Benidorm for a long weekend – the players and the coaches – and we had a really good time.
“But I felt I had to give full-time football another crack.
“I had a really good relationship from the first day with SP and (assistant boss) Ross Campbell.
“When this chance came to move to Raith, they looked at me as a person and not just a player and wanted the best for me.
“So I can’t thank them and Montrose enough.”
Milne admits he has struggled to make the immediate impact he would have liked after joining Raith but having recovered from an injury problem, he believes the club’s fans will now see the best of him.
Milne added: “I had a slow start at Raith because of an ankle injury but I am getting closer to full fitness now.
“The team are building a bit of momentum.
“It was a hard Betfred Cup with injuries and the squad not quite settled yet.
“But it has been better the last couple of weeks and we even had seven subs on Tuesday which was a bonus.
“The boys are gelling well together.”