Andrew McCarthy is eager to repay Peterhead’s faith in him after committing to the club for next season.
McCarthy was thankful that the Buchan outfit kept him last year after struggling with fitness problems after initially joining in January 2020.
And, after staying at Balmoor, the former Partick Thistle and Queen of the South player says this term was one of the most enjoyable in his career.
The 22-year-old said: “This season was probably the most I’ve enjoyed a season since I was 18.
“I’ve felt back to being able to play the way I know I can, previously I’ve maybe been a bit of a shadow of myself.
“But getting that fitness and getting a run of games has made such a difference.
“This season was the most I’ve enjoyed my football for years.
“I’m thankful for the faith the club showed in me, especially when for the first few months I didn’t really do anything.
“They gave me a new deal last year when they didn’t need to and I’m just trying to repay them.”
McCarthy has reaped the rewards
McCarthy worked hard on his fitness during lockdown last year to ensure he could contribute to the Peterhead cause this season.
He admits it dawned on him that he needed to work harder if he was to show the Blue Toon what he was truly capable of.
He added: “I think when you’re younger, it’s easy to be oblivious to things and be lazy.
“But I’ve realised over the last year that if you work hard you will get the rewards and I’ll keep that with me this summer.
“Some people might think you will have a break, but I’ll keep up my running and won’t have a break.
“I think over the last year I’ve seen that if I work hard I’ve got the rewards by getting to play.
“That’s something I’ll probably keep with me all the time now.”
Hogg’s help has been pivotal for McCarthy
Somebody who has been crucial to McCarthy getting fitter and rediscovering his best form has been Peterhead fitness coach Stuart Hogg.
Hogg has enjoyed a glittering career in athletics coaching, as well as working as a fitness coach with Dundee United and Aberdeen.
He has also been a mentor for McCarthy over the last year and he said: “Hoggy has been different class with me.
“Even away from the sports science stuff, he’s been a top man phoning to check how I am and things like that, which he doesn’t need to do.
“It shows what a good guy Hoggy is and even in the close season I’ll still speak to him most days.
“He gave me a programme a couple of days after the season finished and he’ll keep up with how I’m doing with that.
“He’s a really good guy who has helped me a lot and helped me get fit.
“He knows exactly what I need and he’s a really good guy to speak to as well.
“That’s one of the reasons I love being at Peterhead, because there are so many good people at the club.”