2012 has been quite a year for me. I signed a two-year deal with Partick Thistle (scoring on my debut), graduated from uni, went through my first pre-season as a Jag (believe me it was tough!) and then just when I thought everything was on course BANG the gaffer (that’s Jackie McNamara to you) told me I was going out on loan to Albion Rovers.
I was a bit shocked and a bit worried at the same time cos my first thought was that the gaffer was trying to get rid of me. Over the summer he’d signed Steven Lawless and Steven Craig – attacking players who were in his starting 11 every week. They were scoring goals and we’d had such a great start to the season I knew it’d be difficult to get in the team ahead of them, but at the same time I wanted to be around and fight for my place because I love it at Firhill – the gaffer, the players, the fans – it’s where I want to be.
It didn’t help that I’d managed to pick up a back injury too which meant I wasn’t even on the bench. The loan thing was out of my hands, but after the gaffer explained to me he wanted me to go out and get game time I was happy to do it. It’s for my benefit and I know it will all be worth it in the long run.
That said, when they gave me the loan papers to sign I made sure I read the small print as I didn’t want to sign my Partick Thistle career away!
My ultimate aim is to be playing every week – and scoring goals – for Partick Thistle, but I’ve realised that sometimes you need to take a detour to get to where you want to go. My detour is via Albion Rovers where I must admit I’m loving getting the chance to play every week and I’m scoring goals (three in four games so far!). Everyone has been really supportive about my loan spell from the gaffer , the boys in the Thistle dressing room to the guys from the boardroom to the manager and players at Cliftonhill. In fact, they like me so much they’ve extended my loan spell to mid-DecemberJ I’m happy to stay because I’m playing every Saturday and scoring goals too.
If there’s a down side to it all, it’s that life is pretty hectic right now. I train full time with Thistle during the day, then two nights a week with Albion Rovers as well as putting my sports science degree to good use by helping out with Partick Thistle’s youths on their training nights. I rarely get much time to myself, but I’m loving every minute.
I suppose the lesson that I need to take out of all of this and I guess it applies to anyone is that sometimes you don’t always achieve your goals quite in the way you’d imagined. Things come along that seem insurmountable at the time, but they actually make you stronger and better in the long term. I’m staying focused on that and would encourage anyone going through something similar to do the same.
So, this Sunday I’ll be at Cowdenbeath cheering the boys on in the Ramsdens Cup semi-final – the final isn’t til next April so hopefully the boys can get us there and I’ll be back at Firhill fighting for a place in the starting eleven. C’mon the Jags!