Aaron Martin already feels vindicated in moving away from his family on the south coast of England and joining Hamilton after a frustrating summer.
The defender was on the verge of promotion with Exeter before the pandemic struck and the financial consequences ensured his final game was a League Two play-off final defeat by Northampton at an empty Wembley in late June.
The 31-year-old endured months of uncertainty before signing for Accies on November 7.
“It’s been a really frustrating summer but as soon as I heard the news about coming up here, straight away I said to my wife it’s a decision that we have both got to take,” he said.
“It was a chance for me to experience something else as well so I was really grateful when I got the call.
“It was super frustrating. Before Covid hit we were doing really well and I thought we were going to go up automatically and then there was the break and we had the play-offs and I personally had a few months off afterwards.
“But I kept myself fit and ready and waited for the right opportunity.
“My family are still back in Southampton so for me to come up here was a big decision but it’s one I am glad I have taken.
“My wife is amazing, she has been on board with all of it, and she understands why I am up here and she understands it’s a very good level.
“She has been massively supportive and she has been unreal dealing with everything at home, which I will always be forever grateful for. She is a super strong woman so it’s good to have that alongside me.”
Martin experienced a difficult debut as Hamilton crashed out of the Betfred Cup at Stranraer but the centre-back has helped Accies steady the ship in a narrow defeat by Dundee United and draw with Aberdeen.
Speaking ahead of Saturday’s visit of Kilmarnock, Martin said: “I’ve really enjoyed it so far. All the lads have been great and the manager and staff have been brilliant.
“I’ve enjoyed the last couple of games. It’s been great for me to see what the level is like and how different it is to play up here.
“I have only really played in England so coming up here has been massively enjoyable in itself.
“It’s actually quite different to what it is in England. The tempo is quite a lot quicker. Teams really try and play up here as well. It’s just a slightly different style of football, which is good experience for me.
“We are starting to pick up as well and our performances have been good.”
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