Cammy Ballantyne watched his St Johnstone team-mates lift the League and Scottish Cup double on TV from the comfort of his parents home.
He kicked every single ball but would have loved nothing better than to be alongside Ali McCann in the St Johnstone midfield.
Ballantyne missed out on the biggest season in the club’s 137-year history but you won’t find him sulking.
After two seasons on loan at Montrose – where he played 50 games for the League One side – he’s has his sights set on making the breakthrough at Saints.
He netted his first goal for the Perth side a 4-1 friendly win over Arbroath on Wednesday night.
Now he’s set to challenge for a place in Callum Davidson’s history-making team.
“I was really jealous when I watched the cup celebrations,” said Ballantyne.
“I was at home watching both finals and the Rangers semi-final with my parents.
“Of course I’d have loved to have been on the pitch. Even to be at the games would have been great.
“The manager had big games at Hampden to prepare for. The last thing I wanted to do was to ask him if I could go – especially with all the testing around Covid.
“The buzz is still at the club. The players, staff, fans, we are all buzzing.
“It’s going to be hard but hopefully this is the start of something that can snowball.
“We’ve got the European games coming up and every player would love to be involved.
“I’d love to even travel with the squad but I’m willing to go with whatever the manager decides next for me.
“It would be silly for me to think I can waltz straight into the squad because I had a good season at Montrose.”
Ballantyne’s huge impact at Montrose
This goal btw 👌🏼
Cammy Ballantyne 👏🏼 pic.twitter.com/Ul5SWROmFf
— Ben (@1885Ben) June 28, 2021
Ballantyne, 21, was sent on loan to Montrose with the hope that regular first-team football would get him ready to challenge for a starting berth at Saints.
His return to Saints got off to the worst possible start when he contracted Covid.
But he’s now fit and raring to go and you get the feeling that it’s now Ballantyne’s time to shine.
And if he makes it to the top, he won’t forget the people – such as Montrose boss Stewart Petrie – who have helped him on the way.
“My move to Montrose helped me out massively,” added Ballantyne, who will face Fleetwood Town tomorrow. “St Johnstone didn’t just pack me off on loan and say goodbye.
“The gaffer was on top of it making sure I was working hard and Liam Craig was assigned to keep in contact with me.
“Liam was always in touch and our club is like that. There is always someone willing to put their arm round your shoulder and give your advice.
“There are times when you doubt yourself. I looked over to see how well St Johnstone were doing and wondered if I’d ever get back in.
Ballantyne kept in touch with St Johnstone via Zoom
“It would have been easy for St Johnstone to forget about me but they didn’t.
“They even had a few Zoom meetings with me where they went over my games.
“Since I came here I’ve felt welcomed. There are people working at the club that make you fall in love with football.
“Alec Cleland was my coaching coming through and I had to do all the jobs the apprentices get.
“Some hate that but I thrive on it and at it and I’ve worked hard at every stage.
“Hopefully the next stage is to break into the team.
“You look at someone like Ali McCann – who isn’t too dissimilar to me in terms of age and he’s playing regular football. That has to be my next target.”