Iain Russell: Travel buddies keep me on the right road

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After weeks of constant ear-bending, I am finally going to give in and make mention of my travel companions.

After returning for pre-season on June 20, I’ve been making the journey back and forth along the M8 from Glasgow to Livingston with Bobby Barr and David Sinclair.

Now people may not think it is too important who you travel into work with but, I believe it is vital you get good travel buddies. You spend every day with each other throughout the season, through the highs and lows, good times and bad, bringing you closer together.

I have definitely landed on my feet with my travel buddies this season. I am not saying the two of them are perfect but, considering some of the other car schools at the club, I have been lucky. When you see the Edinburgh boys coming into the dressing-room in the morning you can tell the journey has felt longer than 20 minutes.

However, one of the great things about the Livingston dressing-room is the togetherness. We are ‘as one’ on and off the park. There are no cliques or hidden agendas within the squad. We all get along extremely well and much of our success has been down to this.

Although there are only three Glasgow boys, what Bobby, Sinky and myself lack in numerical advantage, we more than make up for in our strength to bully the rest of the team. We stick together and even when we are always blamed for anything that goes awry at the club, we would never stitch one another up.

You normally hear wee Bobby before you see him and he is always in a good mood. A great travel companion who keeps you smiling and picks you up if you are ever down. The Livi fans will be used to seeing the wing wizard running at defenders and being a constant pest to opponents. But the gaffer will tell you he is as much a pest off the park as he is on it. Always looking to wind the boys up and have a laugh, normally at the gaffer’s expense.

David is the car DJ and keeps us up to date with the latest music hits and sets the atmosphere with his tunes. Like Bobby, Sinky is always laughing and joking and full of life. Arguably the best passer of a ball at the club, he also likes to pass the buck as well! Wee Sink always thinks up great pranks but then gets me to do them, leaving me to take full blame.

Two great travel companions and the club would be a slightly quieter place without them.

The dressing-room has been louder even by our standards this week and all the boys are really looking forward to this Sunday’s Ramsden’s Cup semi-final against Hamilton. It is such a huge match for all at Livingston. These big games don’t come around too often and I have never been involved in the last four of a cup competition. I am going to savour this week and enjoy the build-up to the game as you never know when the next one will come along.

It is so exciting to think we are only 90 minutes away from reaching a cup final.

Accies will provide a stern test and we know the quality they possess. Billy Reid has managed to keep the nucleus of his SPL squad from last season and they are being tipped to bounce straight back up. Livi have already faced them this season in what was a bizarre match, ending 1-1 with Accies playing with nine men for the last 30 minutes.

This will be a completely different match and anyone can win on the day. With both sides perhaps equal in quality, it will come down to who wants it more. I would give anything to reach the final and know every one of the boys at Livi feels the same. We hope our dreams will be realised on Sunday.