By The Real Fitbaw – @FitbawReal
Hearts have been billed as heavy favourites for the Championship this season – can you see anyone causing your former club any problems?
“Absolutely not. If they don’t get promoted then I’ll be shocked. They should really be walking that league with the players and budget they have.”
You have also played for Kilmarnock, Ayr United and Rangers during your career – do you ever get along to watch any of them?
“No I don’t. I don’t actually watch a lot of football. I probably wouldn’t be rushing back to Ayr or Rangers in a hurry but great times at Killie.
You are part of the popular podcast Open Goal. How did that come around and how much are you enjoying the success and growth of it all alongside Si Ferry and Paul Slane?
“I saw Si at a kids football camp where our kids were at. I didn’t know him and we didn’t speak but I had a private message on Facebook from him asking to go on the show. I did my one to one and he enjoyed it as did the listeners. I then got asked to do the podcast and got good feedback and been part of the furniture ever since. I think there is a bit of everything. Si is a very good interviewer and Slaney is hilarious. I bring some experienced football chat but we all bounce off each other and it seems to work.”
You’ve played at the highest level for club and country – do you have a stand out goal or memory?
“Making my home debut in the Premiership at home to Charlton. I came on for Niall Quinn to partner Kevin Phillips up top in front of 49,000 fans. It was something special but not as special as seeing how proud my dad was in the stands. That’s the memory that sticks with me. And obviously playing for Scotland in the Far East. I couldn’t get my family there but I was fortune to play at Hampden and again my family were there to share that memory with me and that was more important than anything. It was dreams come true kind of stuff.”
Football is clearly a passion. Would you ever get involved in management or punditry off the back of Open Goal?
“I did my badges when I finished and got a lot of knock backs from coaching opportunities. But six years down the line and after talking about football every week I feel I have good knowledge and good life skills from good and bad experiences that can help others, so why couldn’t I be a manager? I’m taking the steps just now doing my own thing and doing well. So we will see where it goes. I believe in myself so I hope someone else does.”
Lastly, you are a big darts fan and clearly very good – can we expect to see you throwing any 180s in the future again?
“As for darts, I’m retired. I was a very good pub player but to get to the next level it requires more dedication and I don’t have it. I missed a double 12 in the Shetlands for a nine-darter once. That would have been a highlight but I do enjoying watching it. I’ve taken up golf so Tiger Woods watch out!”