JAMIE DOYLE insists dropping down a couple of leagues to join Shettleston has been the best career decision of his life – because he's enjoying his football again.
But not half as much as success-starved Town supporters who look upon the 27-year-old midfielder as something of a talisman signing given his mid-October arrival from Rob Roy coincided with the previously ailing Central First Division outfit embarking on a seven-game winning run.
Their latest triumph came last weekend via a 1-0 defeat of Bellshill Athletic (thanks to a Doyle penalty-kick conversion) that not only lifted Hugh Kelly's side to seventh place in the standings but also fuelled hopes of them emerging as a viable promotion contender in the second half of the season.
This feelgood factor will only strengthen further should Doyle and his team-mates reel off an eighth victory on the trot against Port Glasgow before they travel to take on Irvine Meadow in their Emirates Junior Cup fourth round tie on Saturday week.
But seasoned campaigner Doyle – who started out at Leicester City as a 16-year-old and has played for another nine clubs including five at Junior level since his 2007 reinstatement to Glenafton – is urging team-mates to put dreams of slaying the Ayrshire big guns on hold and focus only on picking up three vital league points.
He said: "Irvine Meadow can wait because beating Port Glasgow is far more important.
"The gaffer has never made a secret of the fact his No.1 target this season is promotion to get Shettleston moving up the leagues.
"Some people may have thought his aims were a bit far-fetched when the team didn't get away to the best of starts but we have certainly come with a great run and now all the top-placed clubs are looking over their shoulders at us.
"Admittedly, we've ridden our luck at times but on other occasions the team has really looked the part and if anything we are now looking even stronger with one or two new players having come on board."
Doyle went on: "There's a terrific dressing-room spirit and the key is that we stick together even when things are not going our way because this is a league where just about every team can beat one another.
"It's been great to play games without the expectations and added pressures that went hand in hand with turning out for my previous clubs Rob Roy and Pollok so I'm content to be playing regularly and using my experience to help the younger guys even though they think I'm a bit of a moaner out on the pitch.
"Whether that continues to be the case if we keep churning out winning results remains to be seen but for certain we will be massive underdogs going down to face Irvine Meadow in their own back yard, which is only to be expected.
"But then everyone tipped us to take a panning from Tayport in the last round yet we ran out deserved 3-1 winners, so write us off at your peril."