Joseph MacPherson insists Formartine United can provide him with the platform to return to full-time football.
The defender was released by Aberdeen at the end of last season and has joined the North Lodge Park side on a two-year contract.
MacPherson admits his long-term goal is to make the grade as a full-time player.
But he believes going part-time at Pitmedden under the tutelage of manager Paul Lawson and assistant Russell Anderson can help him achieve that.
The 17-year-old said: “That’s always been the goal to play full-time football.
“I had a great chat to Paul and Russell and I let them know my goal is to be a full-time footballer.
“They said they will help me on the way towards that and if something comes up they won’t stand in my way.
“My goal is to get to a full-time club to give me the opportunity to be the best player I can be.
“The training we are doing is good and you look round the changing room and there are good players who have played for top teams and had a career at full-time level.
“It’s about learning from them and it’s also about playing first-team football.
“Boys are playing for bonus and I’ve never really experienced that – it’s always been development football.
“Of course you want to win, but you never experience things like playing for bonuses or the manager getting sacked.
“So it’s more pressure and I’m looking forward to playing some proper league football.”
MacPherson says it was difficult to come to terms with his release by the Dons.
He featured in Paul Sheerin’s under-20s team that reached the final of the Scottish Youth Cup last term and was also called up for a training camp with Peru under-18s, during which he trained with the senior national team.
However, he is now looking to the future with Formartine and added: “It is difficult when I felt I had a lot more to give and I didn’t feel it was the right decision.
“Football is about opinion and I don’t have any hatred towards Aberdeen because the club is a great club, I’ve got a lot of friends there and I wish them all the best.
“I wasn’t going to just give up after being released by Aberdeen.
“I’ve still got goals in my mind that I’ve always had since I started playing football and they don’t stop because a couple of coaches don’t think you’re up to it.
“I’m really enjoying Formartine now so it’s on to something new.”
MacPherson is thankful to Lawson and Anderson for providing him the opportunity to train with Formartine in pre-season and says after training the quality at United was clear.
He said: “I think sometimes you can be caught up in the bubble of Aberdeen, and I was, and that means sometimes you maybe look down on the Highland League.
“Straight away I found out that there is more quality than people think and that there are some properly good players there.
“In every training session I was improving so I knew I wasn’t going to be hampering my decision going to Formartine so it was an easy decision when they offered me something.”