Aidan Connolly admits it is good to feel wanted again at Raith Rovers after being frozen out at former club Dundee United.
The 20-year-old winger signed for the Kirkcaldy outfit last week after leaving the Tangerines by mutual consent.
Connolly was snapped up from Queen’s Park for United by Jackie McNamara in 2013 but only featured fleetingly during his time in charge.
However, the player found himself completely out in the cold under new boss Mixu Paatelainen and recently wasn’t even allowed to train with the first-team.
So, when Rovers boss Ray McKinnon asked him to join Rovers, he seized the chance with both hands and after making his debut last week against Dumbarton, he is hoping he did enough to be selected for this afternoon’s crunch clash with Queen of the South.
Connolly said: “When I was at United, I was sitting in the stand which wasn’t good for me.
“It was time for me to develop but I hadn’t played much in the last six months or so.
“It was good to play last Saturday and I felt good so hopefully I can get a run of games at Raith.
“Under McNamara, I had played in a few but I never had a run of games. Obviously, I thank him for bringing me in and giving me that chance at full-time football.
“Under Mixu, I never had an opportunity. He never really said why but he maybe decided to have a more physical team.
“I felt I could have done something for the team but that was his choice.”
Connolly was contracted to United until June and he could have stayed at Tannadice, continuing to pick up a wage, even although there was no chance he would play.
However, he was determined not to do that and while his time at the club ended in a disappointing manner, he hopes and believes his former side, who are rooted to the foot of the Premiership table, will beat the drop this season.
He said: “I was determined to play, no matter what level. It is for me to develop, play a run of games and then you never know what will happen.
“The manager (McKinnon) got in touch with me and said just come into training and we will see.
“I was still with United but I wasn’t even training with the team. I was just going to the gym and cycling but that’s the way it goes sometimes in football.
“So it was good for me to be back training with Raith. I want to be playing football every day so I was delighted to sign with the club.
“I hope United stay up, to be honest. They had a great result at the weekend and they have a good enough squad to do it. Time will tell.
“But I never really got a chance there so hopefully that will change at Raith.
“I just want to play as many games as I can, score some goals and hopefully get into the play-offs.
“The manager has said to me that I need to perform to stay in the team.
“It is a massive game this Saturday against Queen of the South so hopefully we can get a win.”