MORE THAN 460 miles would normally be quite a daunting career move for any footballer, but new Torquay United signing Craig Easton has already made the mental switch from Glasgow to the English Riviera.
A two-week trial at Plainmoor near the end of last season whetted the 33-year-old midfielder's appetite for a longer stay.
"Normally, when you move to a new club, especially one far away, it does take a while to bed in," said Easton.
"But I got to know the lads and they got to know me a bit when I was down there last season.
"It makes it a fair bit easier now. I know what I'm going down to, and I can't wait."
Gulls manager Martin Ling has had Easton, who helped Ling's Leyton Orient to win promotion in 2006, pencilled in to his squad ever since that trial here in April.
United can seldom have signed a more experienced and proven performer.
Easton has played more than 500 games for Scotland Under-21s, Dundee United, Livingston, Orient, Swindon Town, Southend United and Dunfermline Athletic.
"Craig was the fittest player I had at Orient, and I'm sure that will be same again here," said Ling.
"I know he is the ideal type of character for our squad.
"Signing him stiffens up the competition in our midfield.
"He is a firm and solid character, who can come into our way of playing.
"I know I can trust him."
After a season at Southend in 2010-2011, under his old Dundee United and Swindon boss Paul Sturrock, Easton rejected a new contract at Roots Hall and moved back to Scotland for a six-month deal with SPL club Dunfermline.
"I picked up a couple of niggling injuries, and it didn't turn into the best season of my career," said Easton.
"But I'm really determined to make this season a good one. It's a new challenge.
"It was great to see the boys at Torquay doing so well last year, and obviously I would love to see us going one better this season.
"I hope I can bring a bit more experience to the squad.
"All the improvements behind the scenes at the club will help – they transmit to the players and give everyone a lift."
Footnote: Easton will need to ask Ling for an awkward day off on the second day of pre-season training.
He's due to graduate from the University of Staffordshire with a degree in journalism and media studies.