Edinburgh City to Spartans is not a step down – Ross Allum

Ross Allum celebrates scoring against East Stirlingshire on his Spartans debut
Ross Allum celebrates scoring against East Stirlingshire on his Spartans debut
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Striker Ross Allum believes that in leaving Edinburgh City for Spartans he has joined a bigger club.

Despite bringing his short stay in SPFL League Two to an end for another stint in the Lowland League, the 28-year-old, who was City’s top goalscorer last season with 27, insists he doesn’t view the switch across the Capital as a step down.

Allum enjoyed a prosperous two years at Meadowbank and was a mainstay of the side that earned promotion via the pyramid play-off system with victory over East Stirlingshire in May.

And, having signed an 18-month deal with Dougie Samuel’s Spartans men last week, Allum fully intends to be back playing in Scottish football’s fourth tier with his new team-mates.

“I didn’t need Dougie to tell me anything about the club when I met him last week. I know where Spartans want to be. They’re a massive club and, in many respects, they are probably bigger than Edinburgh City,” said Allum. “There’s everything in place to get them into League Two so, if I can bring anything that can enhance their chances of being promoted, then I’ll be delighted.

“We’re not ruling this season out yet so we’ll try and put as much pressure as we can on East Kilbride. They still have a seven-point gap over us with a game in hand so it’s looking a tough ask. But, if it’s not to be this year, then we’ll certainly be giving it our all next season.”

Revealing he was surprised to receive a text from former boss Gary Jardine informing the player that City had accepted a bid from their local rivals, Allum, who had been restricted to just six starts in the league this term, knew he had a big decision on his hands.

“It came totally out of the blue, to be honest,” he explained. “I got a text from the gaffer saying the club had accepted a bid so I went and spoke to Dougie and really took on board what he said.

“I can relate to where the club wants to go having been with Edinburgh City these past few seasons. I just felt it was a fresh challenge I needed so I’m delighted to be here.

“I said my goodbyes last Thursday at training. It was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make in my football career as I had made a lot of friends at Edinburgh City. I was really close to Gary as well so it was really tough. I’m not going to lie.

“I could have stayed but it wouldn’t have been for the right reasons. Sometimes it’s just the right time to move on.”

Allum made a blistering start to his Spartans career scoring a brace in last Sunday’s 4-1 victory at East Stirlingshire but believes he won’t have it all his own way tomorrow when the Ainslie Park outfit make the short journey to Peffermill to play Edinburgh University.

“As far as debuts go, it couldn’t have gone much better really last weekend,” Allum said. “I hadn’t even met anyone so to turn up on Sunday and to be told I was starting, I was really surprised. But to score two goals and beat East Stirlingshire was just great and I thought all the guys were magnificent.

“Edinburgh Uni are a decent side. They’re always really fit and, with Dougie being the ex-manager there as well, there’s always that wee bit more at stake for them. It’s a derby so despite them being near the lower end of the table we can’t take anything for granted. They don’t concede a lot so we’ll have to work really hard if we’re to come away with the three points.”

The Uni, meanwhile, suffered another call-off last weekend when their trip to Whitehill Welfare was postponed due to an unplayable surface at Rosewell. The students lie third from bottom and are just five points better off than Preston Athletic at the foot.

Elsewhere, David Bingham’s Whitehill welcome Hawick Royal Albert to Ferguson Park whilst Civil Service Strollers host Gretna 2008 at Christie Gillies Park. Craig Nisbet’s Preston Athletic meet East Stirlingshire at the Pennypit.