Murray Davidson is ready to take on a leadership role at St Johnstone after signing up for two more years with the Perth club.
With Steven MacLean, Chris Millar and Alan Mannus leaving McDiarmid Park, there is a definite feeling of transition, not to mention a decline in the average age of the squad.
And 30-year-old Davidson, whose contract has an option for a third season which would take him into testimonial territory, will be one of Tommy Wright’s senior pros next season.
“It is always good to get these things done,” he said. “It has been spoken about for the best part of two months and it was a no-brainer for me.
“It was always looking likely that we would agree. There were no stumbling blocks but I suppose as a player you’re always wary until it is all signed off.
“Now I can go away, enjoy my break and look forward to next season and knowing my long term future is sorted out.”
Davidson added: “It felt like the end of an era at the weekend with Macca, Midgey and Al leaving after being here for so long. But hopefully there is plenty more success to come.
“It is easy to see what they bring on the park but maybe not so easy to spot what they have given us off the pitch. They are great people and good characters around the dressing room.
“It was a sad day because those lads have been a huge part of our success. They will be missed and personally I wish them all the best.
“But you have to move on in football and the manager will have players coming in.
“I’m only 30 but taking Al out of the side against Ross County I was the oldest guy out there.
“That shows how far we have changed. The average age of the squad has been coming down and that is good for the future.
“With three big characters leaving if I need to step up and be more vocal at times it is something I have to consider now as a senior professional.”
As an ex-Livingston man, Davidson hopes to come up against David Hopkin’s side next season.
“I watched Livi beat United and I was rooting for them because I had five or six great years there,” he said.
“It will be the same against Partick.
“The manager there has done a great job, coming up last year and putting in such good and consistent performances over the course of the season.
“This is a tough one for them and to be honest I would say Thistle have to be favourites as the Premier League team.
“But Livingston love to prove people wrong. It would be nice for my former club if they manage to come up and I could look forward to playing them next season.”
Manager Tommy Wright, who also secured left-back Scott Tanser on a new one-year deal, said: “I emphasised to the chairman how important Murray was to my team and it was common knowledge that he had a clause to trigger an additional year. But I was determined to tie him down for longer than that.
“So obviously I’m delighted the deal is done – he’s a huge player for us. He’s had yet another good season and I know he’ll be raring to go again for the next campaign.
“It’s no secret that we are a much stronger side when Murray Davidson is in it. He’s consistently been one of our best performers year-on-year and his experience in the middle of the park is important to the side moving forward.”