Nicky Riley wants to repay Peterhead on the pitch for the way they have helped him battle back from injury.
The midfielder has been out since January 30 last year, after suffering a cruciate ligament injury against Berwick Rangers at Shielfield Park.
After paying for his operation 13 months ago, the Blue Toon gave him a deal for last season and supported him through his rehabilitation.
Now the 33-year-old is back to fitness and ready to hit the ground running in pre-season. The Buchan outfit have given him a contract until the end of the summer transfer window to prove himself.
Riley is hugely grateful to the League Two champions for keeping him at Balmoor and wants to repay them next season with good performances on his return.
The former Dundee player said: “It shows the class the club have that they’ve given me another deal.
“It’s great, from my point of view, and last year, after the operation, there are probably not many clubs which would have given me the support Peterhead have.
“The injury has been a nightmare. It’s taken a lot longer to get back than I thought. It’s not even been setbacks, it’s just been a lack of progress at times and once you’re behind you’re tempted to push harder, but you can’t push it and do more damage.
“It’s been a hard year trying to get back and I can’t really expect any more from the club.
“The support they gave me last season was great, keeping me, and then they’re doing it again in the new season.
“For the last six weeks of the season I was back in full training again and felt good and got my confidence up, but I didn’t play in a game and that will be the big test going forward.
“I can’t really speak highly enough of the club and what they’ve done for me, from the manager, the chairman and everyone on the board.
“My aim was always to try to come back. As soon as I did it, I wanted to get back to playing.
“I would love to try to repay Peterhead – I suppose the only way I can do that is to try to get back playing and help the team.
“That’s my aim now, next season.”
Although he didn’t get on, Riley was named on the bench for Peterhead’s final three games of the season.
Having been out for so long, Riley admits just being on the bench felt like a major milestone in his recovery.
He added: “It’s hard when you get back training but you don’t feel properly involved because you’re not in the squad for games.
“It was up at Elgin and I managed to get on the bench, which was great.
“It was brilliant – it makes you feel like you are back from the injury and makes you feel like you’re involved and part of it.
“To me, it felt like progress and if things had been different I might have got some minutes in the last couple of games, but that’s how it worked out.
“You take things for granted as a player because when you’re fit you’re not happy being on the bench and think you should be playing. But I missed a full year and I just missed being involved in any way.
“I didn’t know I was going to be on the bench. I turned up for the Elgin game not expecting to be on the bench.
“Then, when it was announced, it was a good feeling because about 10 or 11 months of work had gone into it.
“It felt like a big deal because I felt involved again and it makes you appreciate being able to train regularly and play.
“It’s hard when you just have to watch games and I’ve missed it a lot more than I thought I would.”