Striker Scott Shepherd knew he would fare well in an Edinburgh City shirt, having spent the second half of last season on loan from Championship outfit Falkirk.
Bairns manager Paul Hartley, however, didn’t feel the 22-year-old had shown enough to warrant a second chance as he made his return to Westfield a couple of months ago.
Falkirk’s loss, though, is City’s gain, as the Capital club have been able to entice Shepherd down the M9 for a second spell – this time on a permanent deal.
He made quite the impact last term, netting eight times as City secured their SPFL League Two safety for a second year running.
And he started where he’d left off as he scored the goal that got James McDonaugh’s men back on level terms in Tuesday night’s 3-1 victory over Albion Rovers in the Irn-Bru Cup, just hours after putting pen to paper.
He now intends to inflict some damage on Stirling Albion when the Binos visit Ainslie Park tomorrow on league duty.
“I’m just looking forward to playing again,” Shepherd told the Evening News. “It was good to get the goal the other night so I am delighted to get off the mark already. I wanted to start well whether it be in the league or the cup, so to get a goal and get through into the next round is very pleasing.”
Shepherd admits he felt his form towards the end of last season might have seen him play his way into Hartley’s plans. He does retain ambitions of playing at the highest level and although he had the opportunity to ply his trade in League One this year with offers from other clubs, Shepherd revealed the chance to work under McDonaugh again was a huge selling point.
“I’d spent five years at Falkirk having signed my first professional contract at 17, but it wasn’t too difficult a decision to leave,” he explained. “I suppose it was hard walking away from full-time football and I was hoping I’d maybe get a chance having done well at Edinburgh City last season.
“But it didn’t happen. I didn’t really have any discussions about staying to be honest. He [Paul Hartley] never said much to me. I was expecting a chance when I got back into pre-season, but the day before they offered me a pay off so that kind of said it all.
“That’s the football world for you and sometimes you just have to accept it. If he wants his own players in then he’s going to go out and do that.
“I had quite a few options but I just want to find my feet again and play football so the option to go back to Edinburgh City was ideal. There were a couple of clubs in both League One and League Two that showed an interest, but I’d made up mind.
“I really enjoyed it last year. I know a lot of the boys already and working under a manager who knows what you’ve got to offer is a good combination.”
Shepherd is looking forward to striking up a partnership with Blair Henderson, who has managed to find the net six times already.
“I definitely think the gaffer has strengthened the squad from last time I was here so I think we can finish higher in the table,” Shepherd said. “You always want to bounce back to winning ways (City lost to Elgin last Saturday). We’ve got a good record against Stirling Albion so there’s no reasons why we can’t get a good result tomorrow.
“I don’t really know Blair yet, but I’m looking forward to playing with him. We’re obviously two different players – he’s more of a link-up guy, where I’ll do more of the running. I just want to try and score more goals last season and do better as a club on the whole.”