GARY Warren is ready to face the challenge of filling the void left by Ross Tokely at the heart of Caley Thistle’s defence.
The centre half has become Inverness manager Terry Butcher’s first summer signing after agreeing a one-year deal following his departure from English Conference side Newport County.
Warren, who captained Newport to the FA Trophy final at Wembley last season where they lost 2-0 to York City, is still acquainting himself with Caley Thistle, but he is aware of how highly regarded Tokely was by supporters.
He appreciates the onus will be on him to impress, yet the 27-year-old is excited by the challenge that awaits him in the Scottish Premier League.
"Ross Tokely has obviously been a stalwart at Inverness for so long," said Warren, who is currently on holiday in Egypt.
"Being at one club for 16 years says a lot about his character and that’s why the fans will really have taken to him.
"If I can just achieve half of what he has with Inverness then I will be a happy man.
"Whenever you go to any club you have to prove something to the supporters, so first and foremost I’ll be aiming to show them what I can do. Hopefully, the fans will like what they see.
"I really hope the fans take to me. They seemed to do that at Newport County and I had three good years with them, but this is a different level for me now. However, it’s a opportunity that I couldn’t turn down."
When he returns from his break, Warren plans to travel with his girlfriend to have a look around the Highland Capital and both of them will then make the move North.
It is by far the biggest move of Warren’s career to date. Having combined football with careers as a part-time builder and then PE teacher, getting the opportunity to play full-time and in a league he insists is up there with any across the globe is one the Bristol-born defender intends to seize with both hands.
"This is massive," he said. "It means everything to me.
"I’ve been given the opportunity to play full-time football in one of the best leagues in the world, so I’m going to give it a real go.
"Hopefully, I can impress a few people in Scotland with what I can do, but there’s no doubt that it’s a huge honour to be given this chance."