He waited five months to seal his switch to St Johnstone.
And Shaun Rooney always suspected Tommy Wright might not be in charge next season when he penned a pre-contract deal.
But the former Inverness Caley Thistle full-back thought it would be an international job luring the Scottish Cup winner away from McDiarmid Park after seven successful years at the helm.
So he was caught off-guard by Wright’s shock decision to exit two months ago with football in the grip of the pandemic.
The Northern Irishman has since been linked with the post vacated by Michael O’Neill and now the Dundee United position, after Robbie Neilson returned to Hearts.
But Rooney (23), who was teed-up to replace on-loan Celtic defender Anthony Ralston in Wright’s squad, admits he’s looking forward to working with new manager Callum Davidson after undergoing the initial Covid-19 testing along with the rest of the squad.
“When I saw the news that Tommy Wright had left I was surprised but it didn’t affect me too much,” said Rooney.
“I’d actually asked him before I signed that if the Northern Ireland job came up would he go and he said he wouldn’t be able to turn it down.
“Personally, it’s not a huge problem for me because the new manager has come in and everyone is in the same boat – we all have to impress him.
“We had a Zoom call and he phoned me too, telling me what he expects.”
Rooney reckons he has landed lucky by having a former international full-back in charge at Perth.
“I am looking forward to working with him,” he said.
“He was a Scotland international full-back in his playing days so there is plenty I can pick up.
“I am an attacking full-back and feel the defensive side improved a lot last season so hopefully I can keep progressing under the gaffer.
“It’s going to be good. We just need to get the okay to start training properly again now.
“We had the first of the testing on Monday when we came in.
“It was a bit of a strange way to start your first day but that’s what has to happen to get back training.
“It has been a while waiting to come in because it was back at the start of February I agreed to come and then football was cancelled in March.
“So I just can’t wait to get started now and kick on.”
After impressing in a two-year spell in the Highlands following a switch from Queen of the South, Rooney revealed he wasn’t short of options with his contract running down.
But former Caley Jags colleague Jamie McCart helped seal the deal.
“I had other offers but I wanted to come here and play in the Premiership,” Rooney stressed.
“I spoke to Jamie about it because I know him well from Inverness and he told me it’s a good club with a great bunch of boys.
“He’s really enjoyed it since he signed so that helped me make my decision.
“I have missed his tackles in training because he likes to kick me now and again.
“So we’ll see if that keeps up here.
“I already know Jason Kerr from Queen of the South so our defence could have a bit of familiarity straight away when the season starts.”
Rooney was quick to pay tribute to the Highlanders and their coaching team for progressing his career.
“Inverness were really good for me and working with John Robertson really kicked my career on.
“And I learned a lot from Scott Kellachar too. It was a really enjoyable time.
“But I felt it was time to move on and look for a new challenge in the Premiership.”