Rangers midfielder Kevin Thomson was delighted to finally play a full part in the club's title celebrations after missing last season through injury. And he is just as keen to throw himself into pre-season training after being eased back last summer following his recovery from a serious knee injury.
Thomson felt something of an outsider during the previous season's championship party after suffering cruciate ligament damage in October 2008. So he fully appreciated his run-out during Sunday's 3-3 draw against Motherwell, after which Rangers received the Scottish Premier League trophy.
Lee McCulloch had to sit out the match through suspension and Thomson knew only too well how his midfield partner would feel. "It has been amazing," the 25-year-old said after launching a plaque for the blind at Ibrox to mark the bicentenary of Louis Braille.
"I look at big Jig [McCulloch] on Sunday, he has played almost every game and been an important part of the team. But, I bet if you asked him, his celebrations weren't quite as jumpy as some of the other boys.
"It's important for a player to finish the season and be involved. In cup finals you want to be on the park, you want to be playing. It was absolutely fantastic to be there on Sunday – walking around the stadium in front of 50,000 after the game was enough to give you goose bumps."
Thomson, the former Hibernian captain, has been satisfied with his comeback following his second cruciate ligament injury, but he feels he will have more to offer following a complete pre-season.
"In patches I felt I proved that I'm a good player," Thomson said. "I had a wee bit of a stop-start season. The first season back after injury I clocked up 35 games or so, five or six of them were in the Champions League. At a club like this there is no resting period, there are no wee games. My first start when I came back from injury was over in Stuttgart in the Champions League.But I've been happy with my form, I think I've got better as the season went on."
Thomson is also keen to continue his Ibrox career for years to come despite reports linking Middlesbrough with an interest in the central midfielder. "It's part and parcel of being a football player, speculation," Thomson said. "I said a few weeks back that I would be happy to sign a new contract and this is where I want to play my football."