When the chance arose for a switch to Linlithgow Rose last month, it was an opportunity goalkeeper Ally Adams just could not refuse.
Having been a part of the Musselburgh Athletic side which went all the way in last season’s Scottish Junior Cup, beating Lithgae in the semis although Adams was sent off in the first leg for conceding a penalty, and then suffering a narrow loss to Auchinleck Talbot in the final, the keeper was ready for a new challenge.
While the bulk of his team-mates secured moves to Senior clubs on the back of their cup heroics, 23-year-old Adams looked set to remain at Olivebank before his former Musselburgh manager David McGlynn came calling and offered him the chance to be his new No.1. And although he’s not mixing it in the SPFL with the likes of pals Jordyn Sheerin and Andrew Munro, tomorrow he’ll get a crack at playing in the William Hill Scottish Cup when Rose travel to Lowland League outfit Gala Fairydean Rovers.
“So many boys left Musselburgh last year and that made it easier to make the move. I had been at the club for so long and played there since I was 18 and I’ve never been Senior, so I sort of learnt my trade there,” said Adams.
“It was hard for me to leave, but everyone I spoke to said the opportunity to play for Linlithgow does not come round every day and I had to take it. I felt like it was time to move after the cup final, I felt I was ready for a new challenge and ready for a bigger club.
“I loved it there and had a lot of good times, but the step up has been brilliant. There is more pressure and expectation to win games and to perform better here. The boys around you all expect it and you expect it from them – it’s a very good environment to play in.
“Everything about the club is a lot more professional, not that Musselburgh wasn’t, because it was, but at Linlithgow you feel the expectation when you are there and every time you step on the pitch you expect to win. You feel it from the fans, they expect it and if you make a mistake they are onto you straight away.”
Not that Adams has experienced too much of that yet, however. He’s settled in quickly and fitted in well behind a new-look defence which McGlynn has assembled since taking over from Danny Smith at the end of last season.
Due to the Prestonfield club having an SFA licence they automatically qualify for the first round of the Scottish Cup – a massive selling point for Rose according to Adams and one which helped in convincing him that the move was the right one for his career.
Rose made it to the third round last season and went out after a valiant effort at home to Championship outfit Raith Rovers and Adams insists they aren’t in it just to make up the numbers.
He said: “I can’t wait for the game tomorrow. For Linlithgow to take Raith as far as they did last season shows that we aren’t going to be in it just to say we are in it and get a couple of rounds in, we want to do well in it. It’s a massive selling point for the club and it’s something to say you’ve done, you can look back on the career and say ‘I played in the Scottish Cup’.”
A boyhood Hibs fan, Adams would love the chance to play against his heroes at Easter Road, but for now his focus is solely on tomorrow’s first round tie at Netherdale, where he’ll line-up against close friend Sean Guiney.
He added: “They aren’t just there to be turned over and it’s at their own pitch as well so I’m sure they’ll be right up for it.
“We’ve just got to look at this game and not look ahead to the next round. We’ll have a game plan and we’ll go and execute it as best as we can.”