NIKOLAY TODOROV is convinced he has hit the jackpot at Falkirk after his Italian dream turned sour because of a wages row.
The Bulgarian craved a change of scene when he left Hearts last summer following loan spells at Cowdenbeath, Livingston and Queen of the South.
With the feeling he was never really given a chance at Tynecastle, the 22-year-old opted for a move to Serie C side Rieti, based 50 miles from Rome.
But the bustling striker returned to Scotland last month just a quarter of the way through his two-year deal after he alleges promises were broken and cash went unpaid.
It leaves the under-21 cap thankful for what he has found at Falkirk as he bids to make up for past disappointments.
Ahead of Saturday’s crunch clash with Alloa, he said: “I have regrets. Hearts is a massive club and I was on the bench for the Europa League with them.
“Then I went on loan and won, I could say, two titles. I won League One with Livi and helped them up until the end of January last year with their promotion to the Premiership.
“But I never really got the chance there and that’s painful.
“I was attracted to Italy because the football is different; it’s more tactical and it’s more technical, I would say.
“I just wanted to go over there and learn a different style of football and to see a different culture.
“I felt like I needed a change. I’m happy I went there. I played all the games and met new people and made some great friends for life.
“So, I’m really, really happy to have gone but I would have been happier if I had stayed for the length of my contract.
“I signed a two-year contract but there were problems with my wages and some things that were in the contract weren’t being fulfilled.
“So, I had to take a decision. It was hard but I’m really, really happy to be here and I’ll give it 100 per cent.”
Todorov was linked with a possible move to Dundee United but penned a short-term deal with Falkirk just minutes before the transfer deadline.
He was plunged straight into a relegation battle but the ex-Nottingham Forest trainee is convinced Ray McKinnon’s revamped squad can finish the season strongly and surge to safety.
With a victory over Alloa capable of lifting the Bairns to eighth, he added: “I came to a couple of training sessions and to watch the game against Inverness before I signed.
“As they could look at what I am about, I could look at them as well, and I was really, really impressed.
“Last weekend’s 3-0 win over Queen of the South shows the team is playing much better and there is loads of positivity.
“I think we will start climbing the table but we will take it step by step.”