Hamish Ritchie is relishing the challenge of trying to prove himself in League One with Peterhead.
With the Highland League still in cold storage, the Inverurie Locos midfielder has joined the Blue Toon on loan for the rest of this season, although the Railwaymen do have a recall option should they be able to restart.
Ritchie is looking forward to playing for the Buchan outfit.
The 23-year-old could make his debut this afternoon when Airdrieonians visit Balmoor and is hoping Peterhead can return to action with a victory, having been shut down since mid-January.
Ritchie said: “I’m looking forward to the challenge, Peterhead have got a really good setup and a good squad.
“I’ve enjoyed training and the standard has been really high and I’m looking forward to try to get into the team.
“There are quite a lot of games coming up and plenty of midweek games.
“So there might be a fair bit of rotation and you don’t know what will happen with injuries, I’ll just have to try to take my chance when it comes.
“Hopefully I can be involved against Airdrie and they are full-time as well, so it will be a good test for us.
“Hopefully we can start well and hit the ground running with a positive result.”
Ritchie spent a month on loan at another north-east League One club, Cove Rangers, in November.
The move was initially meant to be until January, however, after making only one appearance and picking up an injury, he returned to Inverurie at the end of November as the Highland League season got under way.
Reflecting on that period, Ritchie added: “You’re always frustrated when you don’t play, but it was difficult.
“I think they were unbeaten in the league when I went there, so I knew going there and getting game time would be tough.
“I came on against Dundee at Dens Park in the League Cup and picked up an injury, which didn’t help my chances either.
“But I knew it would be difficult going there to get game time and, once the Highland League started, I felt it was maybe more beneficial to go back to Inverurie and play games.”
Ritchie signed for Locos last summer after returning from four years at university in America.
He played against Peterhead in a pre-season friendly in September and impressed manager Jim McInally that day and he has been keen to sign him since.
Ritchie said: “It’s always nice when the manager praises you for a performance and has kept an eye on you.
“It takes a bit of the pressure off when he’s already seen you play, because he already knows what you’re capable of.
“Having spoken to Jim, he seems very positive about the rest of the season and training has been really good, so I’m looking forward to getting started.”
Ritchie is also thankful to Inverurie for allowing him to go out on loan while they remain unable to play.
He said: “Andy Low and Locos have been great with me, they let me go to Cove in November and they’ve let me join Peterhead now.
“They didn’t have to let it happen, but they have, so I can’t thank them enough.”
Peterhead will be without suspended trio Simon Ferry, Steven Boyd and Andrew McDonald for the clash with Airdrie.
Alan Cook looks set to miss out with a knee problem, while Ben Armour is also a doubt and Gary Fraser has already been ruled out for the rest of the season.