Peterhead midfielder Scott Brown takes great pride in being able to pull on the captain’s armband at Balmoor.
He is younger than some of his more experienced colleagues, but is recognised by manager Jim McInally as one of the most dependable figures in his team.
Twelve months ago, Brown had the chance to join Falkirk, who the Blue Toon face this weekend in League One. Returning to full-time football was always an aspiration after his days playing for St Johnstone.
Falkirk pulled out of the move, but there was never any sulking on Brown’s behalf. He was never agitating for a change of scenery.
He is grateful for the trust shown in him and remains happy pulling on a Peterhead shirt.
“Moving on was never a case of not being happy at Peterhead,” said Brown. “I’ve always been happy at Peterhead. I’ve enjoyed my time with the boys and the manager.
“It was just a case of wanting to get back full-time, to play at the highest level possible. If it happens, it happens. I’m happy at Peterhead and I would never actively seek a move away.
“It’s a case of being happy and having the trust of the manager. Sometimes the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.
“You want to play at the highest level you possibly can, but maybe being happy in life is underestimated sometimes.
“Who knows how it would have worked out at Falkirk. You could have gone there and not done so well. It’s one of the opportunities I’ve had to move away and it hasn’t really materialised.
“It’s not a case of ‘oh that’s me back at Peterhead for another season. It’s a case of being happy to turn up on a Tuesday and Saturday, train hard, then hopefully play on a Saturday.
“It’s a big pull being captain as well. There’s a lot of boys in our dressing rooms that could be potential captains – Simon (Ferry), (Ryan) Conroy, Derek (Lyle). It’s nice to be a bit younger and be trusted with that.”
Brown has been a near-automatic pick under McInally and continues to show his class at League One level.
However, another player to have caught the eye is fellow midfielder Hamish Ritchie. Impressing initially on a loan spell from Inverurie Locos last season, Ritchie penned a permanent deal at Balmoor in the summer.
After playing Highland League football as a teenager with Keith, Ritchie had gone out to America to play college football for four years. He joined up with Locos upon his return but barely featured, heading out on loans to Cove and then Peterhead, with the Highland League season being curtailed.
“I could tell he had that quality straight away from playing against him, when he was at Inverurie,” said Brown. “It was just more of a case of whether someone was going to take a chance on him.
“Fortunately their season was shut down and we were able to get him in on loan. You could see from the first minute in training he had the quality and he’s got better and better since he’s been with us.
“I’m pleased he stuck with Peterhead, because he probably had a few offers to try playing a bit higher. He’ll benefit from playing 40 or 50 games over the next two seasons and hopefully build up a bit of experience before he goes to a higher level.
“It’s a case of learning over the next two years and fortunately he’s picked Peterhead to do that. It’s good for the manager to have strong options in midfield.
“We’ve still got options to come in. Gary (Fraser) is obviously out for a long time, but the Dundee boys (Lyall Cameron, Josh Mulligan) have done well so far.”