Livingston manager Gary Holt has heaped praise on new captain Marvin Bartley and insists the midfielder sets the right example for his team-mates on and off the park.
The former Hibs and Bournemouth player has taken over the armband from Alan Lithgow, who was plagued by injury last season.
It was a successful maiden campaign for the 34-year-old with the Lions after making the move from Easter Road, appearing in all but two of the team’s 38 game last term and being named the players’ player of the year.
Off the pitch, Bartley also helped coach the club’s reserve team and Holt insists the midfield enforcer was the stand-out candidate to lead the side.
Holt, speaking to LFC Live, said: “Is he a natural born leader? Yes, he is and he has grown into the role really well.
“He’s been brilliant since he came in, his professionalism has rubbed off on a lot of the boys; how he approaches the games, how he approaches training, how he looks after himself away from here – it’s investing in his career.
“Also the fact last season when he came in he was helping out with the reserves, he was helping out with the coaching and games with the staff who were in place.
“That has helped him as well and I think it’s opened his eyes to the things that myself and the staff see on Saturdays and day-to-day training.
“He sees it with the reserves, it’s the same messages, it’s the same trigger things in games that we’re looking for and that’s helped him in his development.”
New Livingston recruit Alan Forrest got off the mark for the Lions as Gary Holt’s side beat Kilmarnock 2-1 in Wednesday’s friendly at Rugby Park.
The winger, younger brother of Celtic playmaker James, struck a stunning left-footed volley into the net from just inside the box in the first half.
The hosts, who ran the rule over four trialists, responded after the break through Rory McKenzie.
But the West Lothian outfit emerged victorious in their second pre-season outing when former Celtic and Hibs defender Efe Ambrose scored with a well-placed finish.