Jim McInally believes Peterhead midfielder Scott Brown is good enough to make the step up to full-time football again next season.
Brown has been a standout player for the Blue Toon this term and has helped them move six points clear with four games left at the top of League Two.
The 24-year-old joined the Buchan outfit in August 2016 after leaving Premiership side St Johnstone.
Brown has been an ever-present for Peterhead this campaign and while his gaffer McInally would be delighted to keep him at Balmoor he believes he is good enough to return to full-time football in the Premiership or Championship.
McInally said: “I’m not trying to chase him out the door by any means because we are delighted to have him and would be delighted if he stays with the club.
“But I’m sure he could go and play for somebody at a full-time level and if he was to get the offer of that we wouldn’t stand in his way.
“It’s great for us to have him at Peterhead and it’s a no-brainer to want to keep him at the club for a long time.
“But by the same token you’re not just here to look after yourself.
“As a manager you are here to try to better your players as well and it would be great to see him getting back up to full-time.
“It would also show other players that the chance is there for them to do that.”
McInally has been thrilled with Brown’s displays this season, although he admits sometimes he’s critical of the former Bradford player as he strives to get more from him.
He added: “This season and certainly since the turn of the year this is as well as I’ve seen Scott Brown play.
“He was fantastic again on Saturday (in the 3-3 draw with Clyde) and in my opinion he deserves to step back up to full-time football.
“I hope he gets an opportunity to do that because for quite a while now he has carried us at times.
“He has been outstanding and he is in a good place so hopefully come the end of the season he gets a chance.
“I’m not sure that Scott maybe sees us getting on to him as a benefit.
“But we knew what he was capable of and hopefully us getting on to him has brought more out of him and helped get him where he is now.
“He has always been a good player, but maybe hasn’t had the belief in himself that he should of had.
“Right now he has got that belief and his pace and power is fantastic.”
McInally believes full-time sides should look more at Leagues One and Two when trying to bring in new players.
He said: “There is a definitely a snobbery with clubs in terms of not looking at what is in League One and Two.
“But people should look at Scott’s pedigree because he played quite a lot of games in the Premiership for St Johnstone.
“He is maturing as a player as well and teams would be foolish not to look at him.”