Harry Paton hopes his summer family training regime can help his push for a first-team place at Ross County.
The 21-year-old impressed in County's 4-0 Betfred Cup win at Brechin on Tuesday after forcing his way into the starting line-up.
The midfielder hopes the extra effort of spending most of his summer holiday training with his two younger brothers at their family home in Canada can give him a head start this season.
The former Fulham and Hearts trainee told PA: "I took a week or two off just to completely rest but I went right back into it and was training after that.
"I have two brothers back home and we were all pushing each other and working hard over the summer to be fit for the new season.
"My brother is at Blackburn Rovers, he is 18 and in the under-23s there, so we were pushing each other to be better than the other. It's good to have that.
"Me and Ben are always pushing each other and going the extra mile, always checking Twitter to see if he scored that week.
"We have always been like that, on the pitch taking free-kicks, and I have a wee younger brother as well who could maybe come over some day and give it a go. It's good to have that group training with each other.
"My youngest one is 14 now, Landon, so he has a few years to improve. He loves it and is always asking to get me out, always going out for runs.
"There's a wee field right by our house so we are always out there knocking balls about and doing technical drills."
Paton made seven first-team appearances last season for County as well as having a second loan spell at Stenhousemuir and is eager to build on Tuesday's display.
"I really enjoyed it," he said ahead of Sunday's trip to face St Johnstone. "When you get your chance you need to perform and I felt I did well on Tuesday. You can always improve though.
"The managers are always giving me pointers for my game and I am always listening to them and working on my game."