Eight months after playing his last game, Scott Robertson could have been forgiven for hoping to be eased back in gently last week after agreeing to join Brechin.
Instead, the 33-year-old was thrown in at the deep end by City boss Barry Smith in a fiercely-contested Angus derby at the home of league leaders Arbroath.
The struggling Glebe Park outfit produced a plucky performance but ultimately lost out to a late Ryan McCord goal.
However, Robertson managed to last the full 90 minutes which considering he had hung up his boots when he left Raith to take up a youth coach role at former club Dundee United back in May was nothing short of remarkable.
Having shaken off some of the ring rust, he is now looking forward to playing again this afternoon against Dumbarton at the Glebe with Brechin in desperate need of points having lost their last seven games in total, sitting second bottom of the table.
The midfielder, who was capped by Scotland and also played for Hibs and Blackpool, said: “Robbie Neilson (United boss) came to me and said that Barry had phoned him.
“He had asked the question if it was possible that I could join Brechin because at the start of the season I was told it wasn’t with this job.
“But there has been a change of manager and board at United so he asked the question and the answer came back positive.
“So it was then up to me and I thought I could go back into it.
“I was gutted to have to give up in the summer but at the same time it was a decision I was happy with.”
Robertson added: “When the opportunity came to get the boots back on and playing again, I was ecstatic to be honest.
“I had given myself a pre-season anyway and up until October I had been keeping myself pretty fit joining in training sessions and doing a bit of running on my own.
“When it got colder I wasn’t doing so much but when I got the call I gave myself a wee mini pre-season.
“I blasted myself for a good week there and while I wasn’t fully up to speed on Saturday, I felt OK.
“But it was good to get 90 minutes in a tough derby against a side who look like they are going to win the league.
“The manager had asked me how long I felt I could play and I just said for as long as he wanted.
“I thought I might just have been a sub but they had got the injury to Callum Tapping and he was a big player for them.
“So I had an inkling that I might have started but not finish.”
While delighted to be back, Robertson was obviously disappointed to lose but he is sure Brechin’s season will turn soon.
He said: “It is just great to play again. It is a feeling you can’t replicate. Just being able to help the team is a massive bonus.
“But going from basically zero to 100 competing in a full-throttle derby meant I wasn’t exactly rushing around the next day!
“Although delighted to be back on the pitch again, it was just disappointing that we couldn’t get a result.
“The boys put everything into it and deserved more out of the game because they defended really well.
“Brechin have had bad injuries so that has been a big factor in the run they have been on.
“Going into it, I wasn’t sure what to expect in terms of the morale but I think taking the positive aspects from the game on Saturday we have a lot to look forward to going into Dumbarton this weekend.
“We will take it from there and the manager will hopefully add another couple to bring extra quality and depth to the squad which will make a big difference.”