Photograph courtesy of Ruaridh Langan
I wanted to take you back to the beginning and the start of your footballing journey. How did your journey start on your road to becoming a professional footballer?
My journey to professional football started with my boys club and I think out of the team that we had around the age of 14 years old that eight of us ended up signing for Greenock Morton. By the end of my first year at Greenock Morton I had played my first reserve game and the following year I played even more reserve games.
Then, by the time I had played around 40 reserve games I was offered a two year apprenticeship at the club and from then on I really entered into the full time side of professional football.
You lead me nicely on to my next question. You came through the youth setup and went on to make first team appearances for Greenock Morton. How do you look back on your time at the club and do you have any particular highlights or memories?
Yes, I have a few good memories from my time at Greenock Morton. Andy Millen was our coach when we all signed in our first year and Andy was one of the guys who made it fun and everybody loved him. You knew that between Monday and Friday that you would be running and doing the hard work but then the rest of the time you knew what you were doing and it was fun. I remember one pre season we all went to Bulgaria and that was amazing.
We arrived in this hotel where it was just us and the food was not the best and it ended up that way because it was just us that everyone came away from it a lot better and even now I still keep in contact with a good few of the boys and we are still good pals.
My first years at Greenock Morton could have not been much better to be fair and I look back on it with a lot of fondness. I even captained the Greenock Morton reserves and that helped my development and I ended up pushing on and getting my debut for the club. I would have liked to play more games for the club but at the end of the day I managed to come through and make my debut for the club and that is something that you are going to have for the rest of your life.
You are currently playing for Dumbarton FC. How are you enjoying your time at the club so far and how would you describe a club such as Dumbarton FC?
To be fair after I left Greenock Morton I was not enjoying my football as much and I ended up signing for Falkirk FC for four months and my time at Falkirk FC got me back into playing games and enjoying my football again, playing well and doing well and signing for Dumbarton FC.
The funny thing was that I missed the first four weeks of pre season and the SPL Cup starts in July up here in Scotland and I played 20 minutes against Inverness Caledonian Thistle FC ( Annan Athletic) and in the next round we were drawn away at Greenock Morton at Cappielow Park and it was my first 90 minutes for Dumbarton FC and I was probably Greenock Morton’s best player as I gave the ball away that lead to two goals and I was thinking oh brilliant what a start.
A month later I ended up starting against Peterhead FC and I scored and I have kicked on since then. I managed to get a run in the team and since then I have loved my time at Dumbarton FC and I have really enjoyed my football and playing regularly and that has been the best thing about it and clubs such as Dumbarton FC it is all community based and everybody about the place has been really good even with some of the fans messaging and it just means that the club has good that really community feel about it and I am really enjoying my time at the club so far.
You have accrued good experience in your career at club level. Could you say who are among the best players you have played with in your career so far?
Yes to be fair there have been a few. There was a boy at Greenock Morton called Jon Scullion who just had ridiculous skills with the ball in a technical sense, it was scary. Michael Tidser and here at Dumbarton FC Nat Wedderburn is also a very good technical player.
Ross Forbes also has a really good left foot on him. Joe McKee and Kyle Hutton are also very good players and I remember leaving Greenock Morton the likes of Gary Harkins, Chris Millar and Jim McAlistair.
They are all players who have gone on to have very good careers and you learn something different off all players that you play with and I have been fortunate to play with some excellent players who have played at very good levels of professional football.
I can imagine in your position as a midfielder that you have played with some very good players so far in your career. could you say which opponents have stood out for you in terms of talent and ability?
I also played against Nat Wedderburn when he was at Airdrieonians F.C last season and it was probably one of the toughest games that I have ever had. When you play against good sull time players. I remember playing against Aberdeen FC and that was a good test. Regan Hendry who players for Raith Rovers played really well against us and he came through the youth system at Celtic.
Finally Ruaridh, could you say who are the coaches and managers who have meant a lot to you and played a key role in your development as a professional footballer?
Yes, Andy Millen as I mentioned earlier at Greenock Morton was great.
Now at Dumbarton FC Jim Duffy and Craig McPherson have instilled a great team ethic where everybody works with everybody and Jim Duffy is a very honest manager.
He is upfront with his players and you can’t really ask for much more to be honest and that is one of the things that annoys me most in football is people not being honest and upfront with you because at least then you know where you stand and you know what you can and can’t do.
It’s important to know the things that you can improve on but it is not for me if people within football want to beat about the bush and hide things. Darren Barr is another, even though I only had him for five months at Greenock Morton, he was another manager who was upfront and I still keep in contact with him now and I have got a lot of time for him.
He was very good coaching wise and he wanted to teach players and also find out what his players thoughts were and it meant you knew where you stood and as a player you could also help your manager too.