New Hearts striker Conor Sammon is hoping he can finally put down some solid roots at Tynecastle after spending the last five years wandering round England.
The Irishman won a £500,000 move to Wigan after an electric start to the season with Kilmarnock in 2011 but that was not the end of his travels.
A £1.1million switch to Derby followed 12 months later but the 29-year-old has spent the last couple of years on loan at places like Ipswich, Rotherham and Sheffield United after failing to nail down a regular place with Rams.
Sammon has now joined his seventh club in the last five years after penning a three-year deal at Tynecastle but now he is looking to settle down with the Jambos.
He said: “Getting some stability was a huge thing for me.
“It’s crucial to be settled. I’ve got a family but it’s difficult when your going out on loan and having to uproot every six months. You end up living in hotels or rented flats. It’s just not the same as having your own place.
“It can affect your performances because you are not in your own routine. Footballers are creatures of habit and I like to know where I’m going to be and what I’m going to be doing.
“There’s no better feeling than having somewhere settled. You feel at home and can look forward to going into training. Coming here to Hearts allows me to do that and I’m looking forward to the next three years.”
Sammon won his first move south after smashing 18 goals for Killie before the turn of the year.
But he reckons he is returning to Scotland an even better player after his experiences in England.
“I had a fantastic time at Kilmarnock when I was there and had a fantastic season under Mixu Paatelainen before getting my move to Wigan, which was an incredible experience getting to play in the Premier League,” said Sammon, who joins fellow summer signings Robbie Muirhead and Faycal Rherras through the Gorgie entrance.
“I’ve definitely learned a lot from training alongside some top-class players and playing against some really tough defenders.
“Am I better player now? I definitely think so.
“I’ve improved technically. Physically I’m stronger and mentally I’ve also come on. It has been such a huge learning curve but I’ve picked up an awful lot from both good and bad experiences.
Sammon met his new team-mates for the first-time on Wednesday morning as the Gorgie club made an early return to pre-season training.
But the former Derry City frontman is already aiming to fire Hearts into a four-way title fight alongside champions Celtic, last year’s runners-up Aberdeen and newly-promoted Rangers.
“I’m coming here to help the club improve on last season, to help it challenge at the top of the league,” declared the frontman.
“There is a real feel-good factor about this club. It’s the same across Scottish football and I’m excited about the opportunity Hearts have given me.
“Rangers are back in the top division and I think there is an excitement back about the league here. You have people like Joey Barton, who is not only a big character but a very good footballer, signing for Rangers.
“And obviously you have Brendan Rodgers at Celtic, who sets his team up to play really attractive and technical football.
“That definitely makes Scotland a more enticing prospect. You want to be testing yourself against really top opposition because that spurs you on to get to the best level we can.
“Playing against that calibre of player and coming up against managers with such good backgrounds can only be a good thing for teams like Hearts.”