Peterhead goalkeeper Josh Rae hopes his loan spell with Queen of the South will ensure he’s sharp for whenever the lower leagues return.
The Blue Toon custodian has spent the last three weeks on an emergency loan to the Doonhamers in the Championship.
With football below the Championship not set to return before next month at the earliest, having been suspended since January 11, Rae appreciates being able to train every day and be involved in games with the Palmerston club.
The 20-year-old has been on the bench for Queen of the South’s last three fixtures and has enjoyed working in a full-time environment.
Rae, a former Celtic and Leeds youth keeper, said: “Any footballer wants to be full-time and training every day.
“It’s been good getting to do that for a few weeks and it will hopefully ensure I’m ready for the rest of the season at Peterhead.
“I want to be sharp for when the lower leagues resume and that was the main reason I took up this opportunity.
“It’s all about coming back and being 100% ready for the first match whenever we start back.
“The next update is going to be at the start of March, so we could potentially be straight back into it after that.
“We don’t know what will happen, but I just need to be ready to go whenever that is.”
Rae is grateful to parent club Peterhead for allowing him the opportunity to join Queens on a short-term loan while the Buchan side remains in cold storage.
He added: “I got a phone call saying they wanted to take me on an emergency loan and Jim McInally said it would be a good thing for me to keep my match fitness up and train every day and stay sharp for whenever the lower leagues restart.
“I took a couple of days to think about it, but I thought it would be a good idea.
“It’s been good to be involved in matches at Queen of the South and the main thing has been being able to train full-time.
“I really appreciate what the club and the manager have done.
“Ever since I signed for Peterhead they have been brilliant with me and I’ve loved playing for the club.
“So I’m thankful they’ve allowed me this opportunity as well.”
Rae hopes he can return to full-time football at some stage in his career, but right now his main focus is still with Peterhead.
He’s played 13 times for Jim McInally’s men this season – keeping four clean sheets – and Rae hopes to continue developing at Balmoor.
“In the longer term, I want to play at the highest level I possibly can,” he said.
“But I’m enjoying playing week-in, week-out at Peterhead and that’s all I want to be doing just now is playing games.
“Before the shutdown, I was playing and I felt I was doing well and as a young goalkeeper that’s what you want.”
Joining Queen of the South means Rae has faced legendary Doonhamers striker Stephen Dobbie in training.
Rae said: “He’s up there with the best I’ve trained with, his finishing is unbelievable.
“He just knows where to put it where the goalie can’t get it – he’s one of the best I’ve trained with.”