Lenny Wilson lived the American Dream but now hopes to fulfill his potential with Peterhead.
The 23-year-old joined the Blue Toon last August, having returned from four years in America combining playing and studying for a business and economics degree at Hartwick College and St John’s University in New York.
Wilson didn’t make an appearance for the Buchan outfit last term as understudy to Greg Fleming, but hopes to put the experience gained in the US to good use at Balmoor.
He trained with MLS sides Columbus Crew and New York Red Bulls, with some sides expressing an interest in signing him, however, with only eight spaces for foreign players in each squad he wasn’t picked up.
Wilson said: “I do feel I gained a lot of experience in the States. I can’t fault the US college system.
“You’re training every day, so it’s the equivalent of being at a full-time club in Scotland.
“I had incredible experiences on and off the pitch and played in front of some big crowds.
“It helped me a lot over there that I played a lot and training with some top-class goalkeepers and coaches.
“As well as playing for the college, I also trained with quite a few MLS teams and some great players out there.
“You learn a lot and people in this country probably don’t know what I was actually up to out there.
“The last two years, especially, I felt I was at the top of the game. There were a few MLS teams sniffing about and I thought I might have been able to push on.
“But in the MLS there are limits on foreign players and then it didn’t really materialise for me.”
Returning to the north-east and part-time football has been a change Wilson has had to get used to.
With Fleming leaving the Blue Toon this summer the No 1 shirt is up for grabs and Wilson hopes he can make the jersey his own next season and return to the performance levels he reached in America.
He added: “Now my lifestyle is different, I train a couple of times a week and have a job, but if I could play week-in, week-out for Peterhead then hopefully that will help me get back to the levels I was at.
“There’s that motivation as well that comes with playing every week and trying to get the team three points.
“I’m 23 now and I’m at a point where I’ve got to play games and I think the manager knows that.
“Jim McInally is a great guy and has been great to me so I’m sure at the start of the season we can have an honest conversation about my situation and the club’s situation and see what happens.
“I feel it’s important that I play regularly and try to kick on and I want that to be at Peterhead.
“I was second fiddle to Greg last season, but I knew what I was signing up to. I didn’t think I was going to come in and shove Greg out of the way.
“I had to earn the trust of the manager and players in training and then you maybe just have to wait until a suspension or an injury to get your chance.
“That didn’t happen and Greg was playing well, but I keep my head down and kept working hard because I want to show the manager I can be trusted now that Greg has moved on.”