TO BECOME a professional footballer you have to put the miles in, and Dylan Dykes is willing to do just that.
It is a long way from Dingwall to Stranraer but the midfielder is doing that each week in a bid to boost both the Blues and his own career.
The on-loan midfielder made his debut for Ross County in April last year against Highland rivals Inverness Caledonian Thistle.
He was also a key component as the Young Staggies won their first ever Development League title last season.
However, rather than being content with a place on the first team bench, Dykes made the switch from one end of the country to the other and swapped the Global Energy Stadium for Stair Park.
The 6 foot 1 inch man said: "Ross County just wanted me to go out and get a bit of game experience.
"I got a phone call from my agent saying Stranraer were looking for bodies.
"I just want to go out and play on a Saturday and hopefully get a bit of experience.
"I go back up on a Sunday night to Dingwall and Ross County.
"I will train there Monday and Tuesday and come back down the road on Wednesday and train with Stranraer on the Thursday.
"It is a bit of travelling but it is not too bad.
"I think I am getting used to it now - up and down the A9 but it is just the way it is if you want to keep playing football."
Dykes' arrival coincided with Stranraer's best run of form in the league this season.
The midfielder, who is unbeaten in appearances for Ross County, made his debut for the Stair Park side in the 3-2 victory over Airdrieonians last month.
That was followed by impressive victories over league leaders Raith Rovers and Albion Rovers.
However, the winning start came to an end on Saturday when East Fife ripped up the form book to pick up their first win at Stair Park since a 6-2 thumping in September 2012.
He said: "I think all the boys admitted in the changing room after the game that we were not really at it.
"Fair enough, we take our medicine and move on to next week.
"We have been on a good run recently and hopefully we can get back on it.
"The first half was not good enough and the gaffer told us that and we recognised it.
"The second half, we came out and started playing well.
"After the penalty, we just did not get going after that.
"The substitutes came on and looked bright and we just need to get back on it."
Dylan Dykes is one of a number of young players you can now sponsor right here on the club website.