Raffa De Vita was inspired by Livingston’s impact in the top flight as he fought back from a serious knee injury.
So the forward was delighted to make his long-awaited return as they removed all doubt about their Ladbrokes Premiership status.
De Vita came off the bench in Wednesday’s midweek win over Hamilton to make his first appearance since rupturing a cruciate ligament in their play-off semi-final against Dundee United last May.
Now he is determined to make a major contribution to Livingston maintaining their Premiership status for another season.
“It’s been a long time coming,” the 31-year-old said. “I’m just glad that the knee feels fine and I feel confident that the injury is sorted. It’s great to be back.
“To come back in the game where we secured our spot in the Premiership for another year was fantastic.
“It would have been harder if I got injured and then we lost the final. The fact we got promoted gave me a buzz to come back and be part of this.
“During the hard days in the gym I was always thinking that the boys are going to Celtic Park and doing well against the likes of Rangers, Hibs and Hearts, and hopefully if I do well one day I will be part of that.
“It helped me the fact we are in the Premiership and there still is a massive buzz around the place.”
De Vita has now played in all four divisions for the club in two spells which sandwiched stints at Swindon, Bradford, Cheltenham and Ross County.
Livingston went into administration and were demoted to the bottom tier in his first period but he helped them to consecutive promotions. He repeated that feat after rejoining the club in 2016 and is determined to stay in the top flight.
“I will do everything to help the club on the pitch,” he said. “As a club we have been through so much and we just want to be in the Premiership for as long as possible.
“We are probably a lot hungrier than other clubs because we know what it’s like when you are down there. When you get to the position we are in you want to do everything you can to maintain that position.”
The Italian knows he now has to impress manager Gary Holt, who took over in September.
But he said: “It’s the same for every player, you need to keep impressing the manager every day you train.
“You never get to a point where you have impressed him enough and don’t have to do it any more.
“Every day you have to prove yourself and prove you deserve to be a part of this team and this club and I will do my best to do that.”
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